Anguish, Yearning, and Identity: Toward a Better Understanding of the Pregnant Hispanic Woman's Prenatal Care Experience

Document Type


Publication Title

Journal of Transcultural Nursing

Publication Date



Donna and Allan Lansing School of Nursing and Health Sciences


Department of Nursing


The purpose of this phenomenological study was to seek a better understanding of needs and access issues among pregnant, low-income Hispanic women. Hispanic women who attended a community prenatal education program participated in follow-up focus groups to explore their experiences regarding prenatal education, pregnancy resources, access to, and satisfaction with, the care available to them. Focus groups were facilitated by a leader, bilingual in English and Spanish, with knowledge of the Hispanic culture. Sessions were audiotaped, then translated into English for transcription. Data were analyzed according to guidelines by Colaizzi and three themes emerged: pregnant Hispanic women experienced a sense of anguish (la angustia) from questions and unknowns rampant during pregnancy, leading to a yearning (el anhelo) to learn and understand more, but with a desire to do so without sacrificing native identity (la identidad). Implications of these themes for improving prenatal care for this population are explored.