Exploring ambivalence toward pregnancy among young Inuit women

Caroline Moisan, Richard Bélanger, Jeannie Calvin, Linda Shipaluk, Sarah Fraser, Véronique Morin & Gina Muckle  (2022)

Culture, Health & Sexuality


Ambivalence toward pregnancy is an important predictor of early pregnancy as documented in diverse Western societies. Inuit women from Nunavik, a northern region of Quebec, Canada, experience a high rate of early pregnancy, yet no study has explored their attitudes toward pregnancy. Grounded in a participatory approach, this study aimed to explore ambivalence toward pregnancy, among other pregnancy-related attitudes, and identify themes underlying ambivalence among young Inuit women from Nunavik. We conducted semi-structured interviews with 15 women aged 16 to 20 years, who became pregnant during the year preceding the interview. We used an inductive approach to analyse the data. Eleven participants were identified as ambivalent toward pregnancy while three were characterised as having a favourable attitude, and one as unfavourable. Four themes related to ambivalence were identified: the value of childbearing/motherhood; the use of contraceptives; the likelihood of becoming pregnant; and the ideal age to become pregnant. A better understanding of young women’s attitudes toward pregnancy could contribute to the development of culturally relevant programmes to more effectively support adolescents, pregnant adolescents and young mothers, and to lead to better care.