Presentation on Birthing Experience

Birthing experiences of immigrant
and refugee women in Canada
Immigrant and Refugee Women’s Health Project (IRWHP)
Knowledge Mobilization on Maternal and Child Health
Workshop jointly organized by:
York University and McMaster University
Christine Kurtz Landy, RN, PhD
March 7, 2014
• Summarize findings from studies done in
Hamilton and the GTA re immigrant and
refugee birthing experiences
• Discuss implications of findings
Immigrant women
Increased risk for poorer over health status
Increased risk for postpartum depression
Less prenatal care
Suboptimal prenatal and postnatal suboptimal
• Barriers to receiving maternity care, e.g.
transport, scheduling, lack of qualified
• Low SES – large proportion are immigrant in GTA
and Hamilton (55%)
Immigrant women during childbearing
• Language, culture and ethnicity are important factors that influence
immigrants’ choice of health care provider and health management
strategies in the host country
• beliefs about health, health care and illness were strongly
associated with access to and utilization of health services
• mistrust in Western health care affected utilization of health care
• need for maternity care providers and services to accommodate
cultural, religious and ethnic diversity may not only be important to
pregnant immigrants who are new to their country of residences
but also to immigrants who appear acculturated in the host country
• immigrant women returned to many of their traditional practices
once pregnant no matter how long they had lived in their host
Findings study of Chinese women in
• preference for language and culturally competent
obstetricians over midwives,
• strategies to deal with the inconvenience of the
Canadian healthcare system
• multiple resources to obtain pregnancy information
• the merits of the Canadian healthcare system
• Structural barriers that undermine social support for
immigrant women
• the emergence of alternative supports and the use of
private services e.g. Zuo Yue Zi centres, ‘Yue-Sao’
(Lee et al. in press)
Thank You
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