Thursday. 28.09.2023

Some groups of women with a migrant background face higher risks of complications during pregnancy and childbirth than the average Finnish women.

That is the main conclusion of the research carried out by Kalpana Bastola, a candidate for a doctorate in health sciences.

According to the main findings of this expert, women with Somali and Kurdish backgrounds in Finland tend to have a higher body mass index (BMI) than women in the general population. For this reason, women of Somali and Kurdish origin were identified as the high-risk groups for pregnancy overweight and obesity.

Similarly, women of Kurdish background were identified as a high-risk group for the development of gestational diabetes and Somali-origin women as a risk group for complications of delivery.

Women of Sub-Saharan African, South Asian and East Asian origin had a higher risk for an emergency caesarean delivery and poor neonatal outcomes.

Additionally, women with Latin American and Caribbean background had an excess risk of both elective and emergency caesarean delivery.

Russian women

Research also shows that, in general, women of Russian and former USSR origin tended to have a lower body mass index than Finnish women before pregnancy. And they were also identified as having lower risks of poor pregnancy, delivery and neonatal outcomes.

The author emphasizes that prevention of pre-pregnancy overweight and obesity is an important factor to consider among the identified risk groups.

She also stressed that more research is needed to better understand the underlying mechanisms for these differences among migrant-origin women in Finland.

Her dissertation 'Health of Pregnant Migrant Women and their Newborns in Finland' will be defended on 22 May at the University of Tampere.

Pregnancy and childbirth carry higher risks for some migrant women