Limited midwifery care for undocumented women in the Netherlands
de Jonge, A.
van der Stouwe, R.
van den Muijsenbergh, M.E.T.C.
Background: Ethnic minority women in Western countries have poorer pregnancy outcomes compared to majority populations, and undocumented women are particularly vulnerable. We intended to assess whether midwives adjust their care if women are undocumented and have no health insurance. Methods: A retrospective matched cohort study in primary midwifery care practices in Amsterdam and Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Undocumented, uninsured women (N=141) were matched with documented, insured ethnic minority women (N=141). Information was extracted from patient records. Results: Undocumented women attended their first prenatal visit 5 weeks later in their pregnancy and received care elsewhere or disappeared from care more frequently (59.6 versus 34.3%). They frequently have an excess of 110% of the number of expected antenatal visits (32.4% versus 16.9%) and had a preterm birth more frequently (OR 4.59, 95% CI 1.43 to 14.72). Midwives were equally likely to follow referral guidelines in both groups. Undocumented women were more likely to give birth at home (OR 2.14, 95% CI 1.074.28) and less likely to receive maternity home care assistance (56.0 versus 79.7%). Conclusion: Although referral guidelines are generally followed by midwives, undocumented women are more at risk of adverse perinatal outcomes and inadequate care than documented ethnic minority women. © 2011 Informa UK, Ltd.
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CH - Child Health
BSS - Behavioural and Societal Sciences
Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynecology, 32 (4), 182-188