It is the responsibility of reproductive healthcare professionals to support all lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) parents in their transition to parenthood. LGBTQ parents may not be fully supported within the reproductive health sector, because of heteronormativity and healthcare professionals' attitudes and practices. Beyond same-sex mothers, no research has been conducted in Sweden on the broader group of LGTBQ parents.
To explore LGBTQ expectant and new parents' experiences of reproductive health care in Sweden when becoming parents.
The current study consisted of cross-sectional qualitative interviews and was conducted using a semi-structured interview guide. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and analysed using systematic text condensation according to Malterud.
The convenience sample consisted of 12 LGBTQ expectant or new parents. Four themes emerged from the analysis: (i) Inadequacies and mistreatment in reproductive health care, (ii) Consequences of heteronormativity, (iii) Satisfaction with reproductive health care despite heteronormativity and (iv) Wishing for LGBTQ competent reproductive health care. The first two themes concerned different heteronormative barriers in reproductive health care and the consequences for LGBTQ parents, which also included intersecting forms of judgment and mistreatment. The third theme highlighted the participants' satisfaction with LGBTQ competent care and aspects of high-quality care, despite lacking support. The last theme described the participants' wishes for inclusive and LGBTQ competent care and what reproductive healthcare professionals can do to achieve LGBTQ competence.
Heteronormativity in the reproductive health sector is widespread and leads to lacking support in the transition to parenthood for LGBTQ people. Swedish reproductive health professionals may benefit from interventions aimed at developing LGBTQ competence. Reproductive healthcare professionals need to develop professional interventions to support and facilitate LGBTQ parents' transition to parenthood.