Lessons from the E Moe, Māmā: Maternal Sleep and Health in Aotearoa/New Zealand study were published in the latest issue of MAI Journal: A New Zealand Journal of Indigenous Scholarship, published by Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga. Authors Dr Sarah-Jane Paine, Monique Priston, Dr T. Leigh Signal, Bronwyn Sweeney and Diane Muller describe how they developed strategies to recruit and retain pregnant Māori women into a longitudinal study of maternal sleep, health and wellbeing.
The authors are researchers at the Sleep/Wake Research Centre, Massey University, and conducted the E Moe, Māmā study to investigate the relationship between sleep across the perinatal period and a range of maternal health outcomes including the need for medical intervention during birth and changes in postpartum mood. The research applied Kaupapa Māori epidemiological research methods with the goal of reducing Māori health disparities.
The authors describe how 10 months into the study they had to adjust their Māori recruitment strategy after realizing that Māori were significantly under-represented in the sample size. They show how recruitment and retention rates were significantly increased by applying tikanga Māori and the Māori research principles of whanaungatanga (kinship, relationship), manaakitanga (hospitality) and kaitiakitanga (guardianship) which resulted in more trusting relationships and engagement between the researchers and the Māori community.
This article addresses the gap in the literature about research approaches for recruitment and retention of Māori research participants in longitudinal studies.  Dr Sarah-Jane Paine hopes that it will “support ongoing efforts and activities both in New Zealand and internationally to centralise indigenous knowledges and cultural practices as robust frameworks for conducting research with our communities.”

MAI Journal publishes multidisciplinary peer-reviewed articles that critically analyse and address indigenous and Pacific issues in the context of Aotearoa New Zealand. The journal is published online and all content is free to access. www.journal.mai.ac.nz

For more information, contact:
Kimiora Brown, Communications Coordinator
Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga, New Zealand's Indigenous Centre of Research Excellence
Tel: +64 9 923 4217
Email: comms@maramatanga.ac.nz