Maternity Action report: Maternal Health- exploring the lived experiences of pregnant women seeking asylum

Maternity Action has published the report of their project exploring the lived experiences of pregnant women receiving asylum support. 

The report shows that pregnant women seeking asylum are at high risk of poor maternal health.

Key findings: 

  • Living a healthy lifestyle in pregnancy, this includes poor quality housing and accommodation, difficulties eating an adequate diet and a lack of access to information related to the asylum process and support options available.
  • Financial support was considered to be low and often insufficient for everything a pregnant woman needed for herself and a new baby.
  • Accommodation was often of poor quality and presented specific challenges for pregnant women and those with new-born babies.
  • Stress was a key theme throughout the conversations. Women experienced stress as a result of not being able to access certain services and essential information.
  • Specific health impacts shared by women in the group which had been related to their circumstances and environment.
  • Midwives and maternity services had generally provided an important source of support for women.
  • Voluntary organisations played a vitally important role in the lives of women, providing them with practical support with day‐to‐day challenges and were also a source of friendship and community.

The report finds evidence of serious failings in terms of policies in place to promote and protect maternal health not being followed and implemented by the agencies responsible for the asylum support system.

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