Date of Conferral


Date of Award



Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)


Health Services


Jeanne Connors


The purpose of this phenomenological study was to examine migrant women farmworkers' views of perinatal care management while working in the fields. Like men, women migrant farmworkers are exposed to many physical, chemical, and biological hazards that pose human health risks. However, women of childbearing age are at an increased risk of having reproductive health difficulties and adverse pregnancy outcomes, and the infant mortality rate among migrant farmworkers is estimated to be twice the national average. Perinatal care is a critical factor in reducing adverse outcomes for perinatal and newborn mortality. Face-to-face interviews were conducted with 15 migrant women farmworkers between the ages of 18 to 40 years who had experienced at least 1 gestational period during while working in the Midwest agricultural stream. Participants were voluntarily recruited from farms in Northern Ohio using purposeful sampling techniques. Guided by the social ecological model, data were analyzed via inductive coding techniques to tease out common themes. All participants reported a basic understanding of prenatal care but due to numerous occupational, community, and access barriers, could not participate in what they perceived as normal prenatal care. Also, participants stated when in gestation they were expected to perform the same jobs as women not in gestation. These findings may inform the work of public health providers and migrant healthcare clinicians of migrant women farmworkers' challenges while receiving perinatal care in Northern Ohio; results can also be used to influence local and national migrant healthcare policies on comprehensive maternal healthcare for migrant women farmworkers in Ohio and across the United States.