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MPMH: Migration and Perinatal Mental Health

MPMH: Migration and Perinatal Mental Health  

Mood and anxiety disorders during pregnancy and the postpartum period (the perinatal period) are common and can have adverse outcomes for both the mother and baby. Migrant women (women born outside the UK) may be at higher risk of mental disorders during the perinatal period, but it is not clear why. Previous research has shown that low levels of social support and experiences of discrimination or anticipated discrimination (e.g. on the basis of nationality, ethnicity or gender) have been associated with mental disorders, but this has not been investigated among perinatal migrant women in the UK.

There is also evidence of health and social service inequalities in this population, but the reasons for this have not been explored. This study aims to explore the experiences of social support, discrimination, and support from health and social services among migrant women in the perinatal period. A sample of migrant women participating in a larger study on mental health during pregnancy (the WENDY study) will be recruited to include a range of migration statuses, ethnicities, languages and ages.

The women will take part in one in-depth interview, which will seek to add detail to the information they have given as part of the larger, quantitative study, and to expand on potential stressors not included in the quantitative study, such as experiences of discrimination. This research aims to highlight the challenges of having a baby in the UK as a migrant woman, identify areas that services can improve in terms of providing support and challenging discrimination, and to capture the heterogeneity of experiences among this population by collecting rich and detailed data. 

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