Lack of social support and perinatal illness in migrant women (international)

migrant women and perinatal illness

A systematic review of 40 articles found that migrant women from low and middle income countries have higher levels of perinatal mental illness than non-migrant women. Across 17 quantitative studies, the prevalence of any depressive disorder was 31% and the prevalence of major depressive disorders was 17%.

Migration is already a hallmark of the 21st century, with an estimated 1 billion migrants globally.

The factors linked to higher levels of depression, as for non-migrant women, are a history of mental illness and lack of social support.

The authors, led Gracia Fellmeth at the Nuffield Department of Population Health (Oxford University, UK)  conclude that social support for these women in maternal care is a key priority, including facilitating family support.


Fellmeth A, Fazel M & Plugge E (2016), Migration and perinatal mental health in women from low- and middle-income countries: a systematic review and meta-analysis, BJOG

Photo: European Commission DG ECHO. Creative Commons.