The impact of migration on women's mental health in the postpartum period

Lígia Moreira Almeida, Cristina Costa-Santos, José Peixoto Caldas, Sónia Dias, Diogo Ayres-de-Campos

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14 Citations (Scopus)
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OBJECTIVE: To assess the influence of I mmigration on the psychological health of women after childbirth.

METHODS: In this cross-sectional study, immigrant and Portuguese-native women delivering in the four public hospitals of the metropolitan area of Porto, Portugal, were contacted by telephone between February and December 2012 during the first postpartum month to schedule a home visit and fill in a questionnaire. Most immigrant (76.1%) and Portuguese mothers (80.0%) agreed to participate and with the visits, thus a total of 89 immigrants and 188 Portuguese women were included in the study. The questionnaire included the application of four validated scales: Mental Health Inventory-5, Edinburgh Postpartum Depression Scale, Perceived Stress Scale, and Scale of Satisfaction with Social Support. Statistical analysis included t-test and Chi-square or Fisher's test, and logistic regression models.

RESULTS: Immigrants had an increased risk of postpartum depression (OR = 6.444, 95%CI 1.858-22.344), and of low satisfaction with social support (OR = 6.118, 95%CI 1.991-18.798). We did not perceive any associations between migrant state, perceived stress, and impoverished mental health.

CONCLUSIONS: Immigrant mothers have increased vulnerabilities in the postpartum period, resulting in an increased risk of postpartum depression and lesser satisfaction with the received social support.

Original languageEnglish
JournalRevista de Saúde Pública
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jun 2016


  • Brazil
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depression, Postpartum
  • Emigrants and Immigrants
  • Ethnic Groups
  • Europe, Eastern
  • Female
  • Health Promotion
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Mothers
  • Portugal
  • Postpartum Period
  • Risk Factors
  • Social Support
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Women's Health
  • Journal Article


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