Anderson FM, Hatch SL, Comacchio C, Howard LM. Prevalence and risk of mental disorders in the perinatal period among migrant women: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Arch Womens Ment Health. 2017; 20:449-462

Arefadib N, Cooklin A, Nicholson J, Shafiei T. Postnatal depression and anxiety screening and management by maternal and child health nurses in community settings: a scoping review. Midwifery. 2021;

Carroll M, Downes C, Gill A Knowledge, confidence, skills and practices among midwives in the Republic of Ireland in relation to perinatal mental health care: the mind mother's study. Midwifery. 2018; 64:29-37

Das R, Beszlag D. Migrant mothers' experiences of perinatal mental ill health in the UK and their expectations of healthcare. J Health Visiting. 2021; 9:(1)32-38

Dossett E, Kiger H, Munevar M Creating a culture of health for perinatal women with mental illness: a community-engaged policy and research initiative. Prog Community Health Partnersh. 2018; 12:(2)113-114

Ellul R, McCarthy R, Haith-Cooper M. Destitution in pregnancy: forced migrant women's lived experiences. Br J Midwifery. 2020; 28:(11)778-787

Fair F, Raben L, Watson H, Vivilaki V, van den Muijsenbergh M, Soltani H. Migrant women's experiences of pregnancy, childbirth, and maternity care in European countries: a systematic review. PLoS One. 2020; 15:(2)1-26

Fair F, Soltani H, Raben L Midwives' experiences of cultural competency training and providing perinatal care for migrant women a mixed methods study: operational refugee and migrant maternal approach (ORAMMA) project. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2021; 21

Fellmeth G, Fazel M, Plugge E. Migration and perinatal mental health in women from low-and middle-income coun-tries: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BJOG. 2017; 124:742-752

Fitzgerald C, Hurst S. Implicit bias in healthcare professionals: a systematic review. BMC Med Ethics. 2017; 18

Foronda C, Baptiste DL, Reinholdt MM, Ousman K. Cultural humility: a concept analysis. J Transcult Nurs. 2015; 27:(3)210-217

Gill GK, Babacan H. Developing a cultural responsiveness framework in healthcare systems: an Australian example. Divers Equal Health Care. 2012; 9:45-55

Ikhilor PO, Hasenberg G, Kurth E, Asefaw F, Pehlke-Milde J, Cignacco E. Communication barriers in maternity care of allophone migrants: experiences of women, healthcare professionals, and intercultural interpreters. J Adv Nurs. 2019; 75:2200-2210

Iliadou M, Papadakaki M, Sioti E Addressing mental health issues among migrant and refugee pregnant women: a call for action. Eur J Midwifery. 2019; 3:(May)

Kaihlanen A-M, Hietapakka L, Heponiemi T. Increasing cultural awareness: qualitative study of nurses' perceptions about cultural competence training. BMC Nursing. 2019; 18:(38)1-9

Lin M, Wu C, Hsu H. Exploring the experiences of cultural competence among clinical nurses in Taiwan. Appl Nurs Res. 2019; 45:6-11

Markey K, Tilki M, Taylor G. Understanding nurses' concerns when caring for patients from diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds. J Clin Nurs. 2017; 27:(1-2)e259-e268

Markey K, Tilki M, Taylor G. Resigned indifference: an explanation of gaps in care for culturally and linguistically diverse patients. J Nurs Management. 2019; 27:(7)1462-1470

Markey K, Noonan M, Doody O Fostering collective approaches in supporting perinatal mental healthcare access for migrant women: A participatory health research study. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022; 19:(3)

Masters C, Robinson D, Faulkner S. Addressing biases in patient care with the 5Rs of cultural humility, a clinician coaching tool. J Gen Int Med. 2019; 34:(4)627-630

Maxwell D, Robinson SR, Rogers K. “I keep it to myself ”: a qualitative meta-interpretive synthesis of experiences of postpartum depression among marginalised women. Health Soc Care Commun. 2019; 27:e23-e36

McCann C, Beddoe E, McCormick K Resileince in health professions: a review of recent literature. Int J Wellbeing. 2013; 3:(1)60-81

Pangasa J, Ogunsijia O, Elmira R Refugee women's experiences negotiating motherhood and maternity care in a new country: a meta-ethnographic review. Int J Nurs Studies. 2019; 90:31-45

Robinson D, Masters C, Ansari A. The 5 Rs of cultural humility: a conceptual model for health care leaders. Am J Med. 2021; 134:(2)161-163

Schmied V, Black E, Naidoo N, Dahlen HG, Liamputtong P. Migrant women's experiences, meanings and ways of dealing with postnatal depression: a meta-ethnographic study. PLoS One. 2017; 12

Shepherd SM, Willis-Esqueda C, Newton D, Sivasubramaniam D, Paradies Y. The challenges of cultural competence in the workplace: perspectives of healthcare providers. BMC Health Services Res. 2019; 19:1-11

Sambrook Smith M, Lawrence V, Sadler E. Barriers to accessing mental health services for women with perinatal mental illness: systematic review and meta-synthesis of qualitative studies in the UK. BMJ Open. 2019; 9

Tervalon M, Murray-Garcia J. Cultural humility versus cultural competence: a critical distinction in defining physician training outcomes in multicultural education. J Health Care Poor Undeserved. 1998; 9:(2)117-125

Watson H, Harrop D, Walton E, Young A, Soltani H. A systematic review of ethnic minority women's experiences of perinatal mental health conditions and services in Europe. PLoS One. 2019; 14:(1)

White E, Aiken L, McHugh M. Registered nurse burnout, job dissatisfaction, and missed care in nursing homes. J Am Geriatrics Soc. 2019; 67:(10)2065-2071

Yu Z, Bowers B. “Everything is greyscaled”: immigrant women's experiences of postpartum distress. Qual Health Res. 2020; 30:(9)1445-1461

Migrant women and mental health

02 October 2022
Volume 30 · Issue 10


Dr Kathleen Markey, Annabel Ogbuagu and Dr Brid O'Brien discuss the need for cultural humility when providing perinatal mental healthcare to migrant women.

Migrant women who are pregnant may have complex experiences before, during and after migration because of political, demographic, socioeconomic and environmental factors, which increases the risk of developing a new or recurrent perinatal mental illness. As one in three pregnant migrant women will develop a perinatal mental illness (Fellmeth et al, 2017), it is a growing public health concern that requires focused attention. Consequently, there has been a renewed emphasis on early identification of perinatal mental illness and prompt healthcare interventions that meet the needs of migrant women (Fair et al, 2020).

Midwives must capitalise on opportunities to raise awareness about perinatal mental health. It is important to offer guidance on accessing specialised services and support when required during all cross-cultural interactions with migrant women. However, this requires staff to have the knowledge, skills and attitudes to provide perinatal mental healthcare in culturally responsive ways. Cultural humility encourages openness, empathy and respect for cultural differences, which is critical for developing culturally responsive approaches to perinatal mental healthcare. This article proposes practical approaches to developing cultural humility as a means of providing culturally responsive perinatal mental healthcare.

Register now to continue reading

Thank you for visiting British Journal of Midwifery and reading some of our peer-reviewed resources for midwives. To read more, please register today. You’ll enjoy the following great benefits:

What's included

  • Limited access to our clinical or professional articles

  • New content and clinical newsletter updates each month