Birth outcomes, postpartum health and primary care contacts of immigrant mothers in an Australian nulliparous pregnancy cohort study

Nirosha Lansakara, Stephanie Brown, Deirdre Gartland

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36 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

To investigate differences and similarities in birth outcomes, postpartum health and primary care contacts of mothers born overseas of non-English speaking background (NESB) compared with Australian-born mothers. Nulliparous women were recruited in early pregnancy (≤24 weeks gestation) to a prospective pregnancy cohort study from six metropolitan public hospitals in Victoria, Australia. Analyses are based on questionnaires completed in pregnancy and at 3 months postpartum. Of the 1,507 women recruited in the study, 1,431 women (95%) were followed up at 3 months postpartum. Immigrant mothers of NESB (n = 212) and Australian born mothers (n = 1,074) had similar obstetric outcomes and postpartum physical health outcomes. Immigrant women were more likely to say they had been depressed for 2 weeks or longer since the birth (Adj OR = 1.92, 95% CI 1.3-2.8); to report relationship problems (Adj OR = 1.39, 95% CI 0.9-2.1) and to report lower emotional satisfaction with their relationship with the partner (Adj OR = 1.69, 95% CI 1.1-2.6) after adjusting for age, education status, income, method of birth and genital tract trauma. Immigrant mothers were less likely to be asked about feeling low or depressed by general practitioners (OR = 0.79, 95% CI 0.5-0.9) and about relationship problems by maternal and child health nurses (OR = 0.68, 95% CI 0.5-0.9). Immigrant women of NESB reported greater psychological distress, less emotional satisfaction with their partner and more relationship problems in the first 3 months postpartum than Australian born women. Although immigrant mothers had an equivalent level of contact with primary care practitioners in the first 3 months postpartum, they were less likely to be asked about their emotional well-being or about relationship problems by health professionals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)807-816
Number of pages10
JournalMaternal and Child Health Journal
Volume14
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 1 Sep 2010
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Immigrant health
  • Maternal depression
  • Maternal morbidity
  • Postpartum health
  • Prospective pregnancy cohort

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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