Obstetric care in a migrant population with free access to health care

Lígia M. Almeida, Cristina C. Santos, José P. Caldas, Diogo Ayres-De-Campos, Sónia Dias

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21 Citations (Scopus)


Objective To evaluate differences in obstetric care between immigrant and native women in a country with free access to health care. Methods A cross-sectional study was carried out of immigrant mothers delivering in one of the four public hospitals in the Porto, Portugal, metropolitan area between February and December 2012. The comparison group included native Portuguese mothers who delivered in the same institutions. The participants (89 immigrant mothers and 188 Portuguese mothers) were recruited by telephone and completed a written questionnaire during a home visit. Results Immigrant women were more likely to have their first pregnancy appointment after 12 weeks of pregnancy (27.0% vs 14.4%, P = 0.011) and to have fewer than three prenatal visits (2.2% vs 0.0%, P <0.001). They were also more likely to have had a cesarean delivery (48.3% vs 31.4%, P = 0.023), perineal laceration (48.8% vs 11.6%, P <0.001), or postpartum hemorrhage (33.5% vs 12.3%, P <0.001). Conclusion Migrants were more prone to late prenatal care and to intrapartum complications. Unsatisfactory interactions with healthcare staff may play an important role in these findings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)244-247
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal Of Gynecology & Obstetrics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Immigrants
  • Maternal health services
  • Patient satisfaction
  • Portugal
  • Pregnancy complications
  • Prenatal care


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