Open Access

Challenges and chances by involving community interpreters in the regular health care of pregnant women and young mothers from third countries with language barriers. A qualitative study within the project RundUm – Transcultural network in the care of pregnancy and birth / Herausforderungen und Chancen bei der Hinzuziehung von Sprach- und Integrationsmittlerinnen in die Regelversorgung von Schwangeren und jungen Müttern aus Drittstaaten. Eine qualitative Erhebung im Rahmen des Projektes RundUm – Transkulturelles Netzwerk zur Begleitung bei Schwangerschaft und Geburt



For linguistic understanding and the participation in the social and health care structures for people with language barriers and a migration or refugee background, the area of activity of community interpreters emerged in delimitation to standard interpreters. Belonging to the RundUm project, the community interpreters at SprInt in Essen accompany pregnant women and young mothers to regular appointments. The intention of this article is to provide information on the opportunities and challenges within obstetric care from the perspective of community interpreters.


Qualitative expert interviews were conducted with 14 employees from the community interpreter service SprInt in Essen. Interviews were analyzed using thematic analysis.


Challenges arose regarding the access to the clients, the cooperation with the professionals and relationship between professionals and their patients/women. Among these lacking language skills, the teaching of intercultural differences and the prevailing uncertainty of professionals dealing with language mediation influencing their work. Additionally, differently understood roles on the part of the SprInters offer opportunities and conflicts for further cooperation in care network of pregnant women and young mothers.


The importance of community interpreting for the appropriate obstetric care of women with language problems offers opportunities for a public discussion on the job profile and the generation of new fields of activity, representing a bridge and navigation function. This requires secure financing options for the involvement of the community interpreters in the care of pregnant women and young mothers and an implementation of interprofessional network structures.

English, German
Publication timeframe:
Volume Open
Journal Subjects:
Medicine, Clinical Medicine, other