Despite improved access to health services in Aotearoa New Zealand there remains a significant socio-economic and health gap between Māori (Indigenous New Zealanders) and Pākehā (non Māori). E Hine (Girl) is a qualitative Kaupapa Māori (by Māori, for Māori) research project, seeking to identify barriers and facilitators to positive health outcomes for young Māori mothers (under 20 years), and their infants.
This paper explores the birthing experiences of 16 pregnant Māori women under 20 years of age who were involved in E Hine, a Kaupapa Māori (by Māori, for Māori) longitudinal qualitative research study of young Māori women’s journeys through pregnancy and into motherhood that ran from 2010 to 2013. This study provided these young women with an opportunity to share their birthing experiences during kanohi-ki-te-kanohi (face-to-face) interviews. Interpretive phenomenological analysis guided the analysis of these interviews.