Motivations for pregnancy planning among Mexican immigrant women in North Carolina
Objectives: To enhance understanding of 1) Mexican immigrant women's attitudes toward planning their pregnancies and the factors that influence their fertility preferences, and 2) the effect of migration on their pregnancy planning decisions. Methods: Qualitative in-depth interviews were conducted with 11 Mexican immigrant women living in North Carolina. Participants were recruited by means of snowball sampling. Interviews were conducted in Spanish in the women's homes. Interviewing and analysis were conducted iteratively to allow emerging themes and interpretations to be developed and validated in subsequent interviews. Results: The women were strongly motivated to plan their pregnancies. Their primary considerations in pregnancy planning were their ability to give their children a good life and their ability to enjoy their families. Individual personal aspirations did not emerge as an important consideration. Migration intensified the women's felt need to plan their pregnancies. Conclusions: The Mexican immigrant women in this study had a strong familistic orientation. Far from diminishing their interest in planning their pregnancies, however, the high value they placed on family was their primary motivation for pregnancy planning. Migration to the U.S. intensified their felt need to plan their pregnancies. Understanding of the women's motivations for family planning may help health care providers better address the family planning needs of Mexican immigrant women.