Childbirths and the prevalence of potential risk factors for adverse perinatal outcomes among asylum seekers in the netherlands: A five-year cross-sectional study

Julia B. Tankink*, Anouk E.H. Verschuuren, Ineke R. Postma, Peggy J.A. van der Lans, Johanna P. de Graaf, Jelle Stekelenburg, Annelies W. Mesman

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

This five-year cross-sectional study mapped the prevalence of several known risk factors for adverse perinatal outcomes in asylum-seeking women in The Netherlands. Characteristics of 2831 registered childbirths among residents of asylum seekers centers (ASCs) in The Netherlands from 2016 to 2020 were included. Results showed a high general and teenage birthrate (2.15 and 6.77 times higher compared to the Dutch, respectively). Most mothers were pregnant upon arrival, and the number of births was highest in the second month of stay in ASCs. Another peak in births between 9 and 12 months after arrival suggested that many women became pregnant shortly after arrival in The Netherlands. Furthermore, 69.5 percent of all asylum-seeking women were relocated between ASCs at least once during pregnancy, which compromises continuity of care. The high prevalence of these risk factors in our study population might explain the increased rate of adverse pregnancy outcomes in asylum seekers compared to native women found in earlier studies. Incorporating migration-related indicators in perinatal health registration is key to support future interventions, policies, and research. Ultimately, our findings call for tailored and timely reproductive and perinatal healthcare for refugee women who simultaneously face the challenges of resettlement and pregnancy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12933
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume18
Issue number24
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8 Dec 2021

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