Accepted Paper:

"Feeling the moves": Mobility, vulnerability and reproductive trajectories of migrant women in the Czech Republic  

Author:

Ema Hresanova (Charles University)

Paper short abstract:

This paper deals with pregnancy and childbirth experiences of migrant women living in the Czech Republic. It aims to examine their situational vulnerabilities in the context of health care provision, resulting from their specific experiences with migration, mobility and reproductive trajectories.

Paper long abstract:

Childbirth is the most frequent reason why migrants in the Czech Republic use health care services. It is a peak event of human reproduction and a crucial point of entry into the Czech health care system. This paper deals with pregnancies and childbirths of migrant women living in the Czech Republic who have given birth in Czech maternity hospitals. I examine these women's care pathways throughout the Czech health care system in the context of their reproductive trajectories that are distinctly shaped by their experience of migration and mobility. I am interested in these women's experiences, expectations and changing understandings, as well as in misunderstandings that occur in their interactions with Czech healthcare providers. My particular goal is to grasp situational vulnerabilities within the context of a maternity and birth care provision that result from these women's specific experiences with migration and mobility as well as from their individual reproductive trajectories. Numerous studies indicate that migrant women are one of the most vulnerable groups in the society, especially if pregnant or about to give birth. This paper contributes to this field of scholarship by providing insights from a Central Eastern European state known for its anti-migration sentiments in a public and political sphere.

In this paper I build on an ethnographic research of migrant women's care pathways, conducted since spring 2017, and 18 semi-structured interviews with migrant women of various migration status, age, country of origin, a length of stay, education and with various number of children.

Panel P071
Reproductive aspirations and trajectories within movement/settlement across borders