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Women, Volume 3, Issue 1 (March 2023) – 14 articles

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14 pages, 2173 KiB  
Article
Differentials in Maternal Mortality Pattern in Sub-Saharan Africa Countries: Evidence from Demographic and Health Survey Data
by Osaretin Christabel Okonji, Chimezie Igwegbe Nzoputam, Michael Ekholuenetale, Emeka Francis Okonji, Anthony Ike Wegbom and Clement Kevin Edet
Women 2023, 3(1), 175-188; https://doi.org/10.3390/women3010014 - 9 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3647
Abstract
Maternal mortality ratios in sub-Saharan Africa remain high and worrisome. Moreover, maternal health indicators have remained poor despite large efforts in the last two decades. This study assesses maternal mortality patterns by age and country. The demographic and health survey data were used [...] Read more.
Maternal mortality ratios in sub-Saharan Africa remain high and worrisome. Moreover, maternal health indicators have remained poor despite large efforts in the last two decades. This study assesses maternal mortality patterns by age and country. The demographic and health survey data were used for the study. Based on the results, countries with the lowest adult female mortality rate include Senegal, Comoros, Rwanda, Mauritania, Sao Tome and Principe, Gambia, and Ethiopia. In addition, Chad (44.7%), Niger (38.7%), the Congo Democratic Republic (34.8%), Nigeria (34.2%), Mauritania (32.0%), Senegal (29.2%), Liberia (28.8%), Benin (27.8%), and Guinea (27.5%), respectively, reported the highest female deaths that are pregnancy-related. Overall, Lesotho (1024; 95% CI: 731–1318), Liberia (913; 95% CI: 638–1189), Chad (860; 95% CI: 728–993), Congo Democratic Republic (846; 95% CI: 690–1003), Sierra Leone (796; 95% CI: 632–960) and Guinea (724; 95% CI: 531–916) had the leading pregnancy-related mortality ratio per 100,000 live births. The study found that the patterns of death vary across different countries. There is a need for concerted efforts to reduce pregnancy-related deaths in sub-Saharan countries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health and Preventive Strategies in Order to Protect Pregnancy)
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12 pages, 773 KiB  
Article
Correlation of Socio-Economic Factors, Diet, and Ownership of Consumer Electronics with Body Mass Index in Women of Childbearing Age: Insights from the 2016 South African Demographic Health Survey
by Lucas Banda and Olanrewaju Oladimeji
Women 2023, 3(1), 163-174; https://doi.org/10.3390/women3010013 - 7 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1478
Abstract
The available evidence indicates a correlation between owning consumer electronics, such as cellphones and televisions, and a higher risk of obesity and increased adiposity. However, such studies are sparse in South Africa. Thus, the aim of this study is to examine the dietary [...] Read more.
The available evidence indicates a correlation between owning consumer electronics, such as cellphones and televisions, and a higher risk of obesity and increased adiposity. However, such studies are sparse in South Africa. Thus, the aim of this study is to examine the dietary and sociodemographic factors associated with various BMI categories, including the possession of consumer electronics, among women of reproductive age in South Africa. This is a secondary study of a population registry that includes dietary, BMI, and digital use items among women of reproductive age. The data is from the South Africa Demographic Health Survey (SADHS, 2016). Of the 3363 participants included in the analysis, women of normal weight were (35.5%), pre-obese (34.5%), obese (27.1%) and underweight (2.9%). Age was found to be significantly associated with pre-obesity at a <0.05 confidence interval. Owning a cellphone was significantly associated with being underweight and had 55% increased odds (1–0.45) (OR = 0.45; 95% CI 0.26–0.77, p = 0.004). Using internet almost daily was statistically significant with being underweight and had 55% (1–0.45) increased odds of being underweight (OR = 0.45; 95% CI 0.20–1.01, p = 0.054). Owning a cellphone and internet use was found to be significantly associated with being underweight. More research is needed to understand why cellphone ownership and using internet almost daily are significantly associated with being underweight. Full article
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11 pages, 270 KiB  
Article
Determinants of Antenatal Care Access and Utilization in Haiti
by Chinedu U. Obioha, Maria-Pilar Martin, Ogochukwu A. Obioha, Karina Villalba, Maria-Jose Del Pino Espejo, Denice Curtis and Alicia Padron-Monedero
Women 2023, 3(1), 152-162; https://doi.org/10.3390/women3010012 - 6 Mar 2023
Viewed by 2014
Abstract
Several pregnancy-related complications resulting in maternal mortality in low-income countries may be due to inaccessible or under-utilized antenatal healthcare services. This study aims to assess the sociodemographic characteristics of Haitian women and how these may affect their access to and use of antenatal [...] Read more.
Several pregnancy-related complications resulting in maternal mortality in low-income countries may be due to inaccessible or under-utilized antenatal healthcare services. This study aims to assess the sociodemographic characteristics of Haitian women and how these may affect their access to and use of antenatal care services (ANC) during pregnancy. Multi-logistic regression was used to analyze sociodemographic factors associated with ANC access and use among a cross-section of Haitian women (N = 4890) from the Demographic and Health Survey Haiti (2016–2017). Approximately 18.2% of the women had no education, 40.2% had secondary education, and 4.0% had higher education. About 45.6% of women with no education, 95% with higher education, and 76% of urban dwellers made four or more ANC visits. Only 3% of those who used public sector ANC had a higher education, and over 64.2% of those who used private sector ANC lived in urban areas. Rich women (OR = 2.49, 95% CI = 2.02–3.08) vs. poor women and mature mothers (OR = 1.97, 95% CI = 1.42–2.73) vs. teenage mothers both had higher odds of using ANC services four or more times. Women with higher education (OR = 0.19, 95% CI = 0.12–0.30) and those who were rich (OR = 0.67, 95% CI = 0.5–0.89) had lower odds of using public sector ANC vs. private sector ANC. Wealth and education are protective of ANC access and use by Haitian women. As over half the population has home births, public health education interventions targeting traditional birth attendants are recommended. Interventions training traditional birth attendants to provide better ANC during pregnancy and at the time of birth and to access skilled help during emergency deliveries is recommended. Full article
20 pages, 1286 KiB  
Article
Determinants of Maternal Mortality in Southern Africa: A Macro-Level Analysis
by Courage Mlambo, Bongekile Mvuyana and Bhekabantu Ntshangase
Women 2023, 3(1), 132-151; https://doi.org/10.3390/women3010011 - 3 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3971
Abstract
This study sought to investigate the macro determinants of maternal mortality in Southern African Development Community (SADC) states. The study drew on the fact that maternal mortality remains a major public health issue in developing countries. The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were adopted [...] Read more.
This study sought to investigate the macro determinants of maternal mortality in Southern African Development Community (SADC) states. The study drew on the fact that maternal mortality remains a major public health issue in developing countries. The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were adopted by UN member states in 2000, and one of them was to reduce maternal deaths by three-quarters by 2015. While the Millennium Development Goals increased efforts, the goal was not met in the countries with the highest death rates. The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that every single day about 810 women die from pregnancy or childbirth-related complications around the world. This is despite several international initiatives being adopted to reduce maternal mortality. The study was quantitative, and it used secondary data to achieve its objective. A panel data estimation (Generalized Method of Moments) covering the period from 2005–2019 was used to examine how various factors affect maternal mortality. The analysis included the following variables: education, fertility, GDP per capita, institutional quality, health expenditure and HIV infection. The econometric analysis reveals a significant positive impact of fertility, GDP per capita and HIV on maternal mortality. This implies that when fertility, GDP per capita and HIV are increasing, maternal mortality also increases. The analysis also showed that education has a negative relationship with maternal mortality. This implies that when literacy levels (education) increase, maternal mortality decreases. Based on the results, this study emphasizes that, in order to improve maternal health and consequently reduce maternal mortality, access to family planning (to reduce fertility), access to early prenatal care and promoting women’s access to education should be a priority in government policies. Full article
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11 pages, 261 KiB  
Article
Psychosocial Risk Factors and Psychopathological Outcomes: Preliminary Findings in Italian Pregnant Women
by Maria Rita Infurna, Eleonora Bevacqua, Giulia Costanzo, Giorgio Falgares and Francesca Giannone
Women 2023, 3(1), 121-131; https://doi.org/10.3390/women3010010 - 28 Feb 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2057
Abstract
The perinatal period may represent a particularly challenging time for expecting parents. Previous studies have highlighted an association between several perinatal risk conditions (e.g., childhood maltreatment, poor social support, and stress levels) and the development of psychopathological symptoms in pregnant women, especially depression [...] Read more.
The perinatal period may represent a particularly challenging time for expecting parents. Previous studies have highlighted an association between several perinatal risk conditions (e.g., childhood maltreatment, poor social support, and stress levels) and the development of psychopathological symptoms in pregnant women, especially depression symptoms. The current study examined the effects of psychosocial risk factors (childhood maltreatment, poor social support, and stressful events) on anxiety, depression, perceived stress, irritability/anger, relationship problems, psychosomatic symptoms, specific physiological problems, and addiction/at-risk behaviors. Sixty-one pregnant women (age range = 24–45) participating in a larger study completed questionnaires about childhood maltreatment (CECA Q.), Maternity Social Support Scale (MSSS), questionnaire on stressful events, and the Perinatal Assessment of Maternal Affectivity (PAMA) during their pregnancy. Results from regression analysis indicated that the presence of childhood maltreatment predicted elevated depressive symptoms, elevated irritability and anger, and elevated relationship problems. Further, stressful events in the year prior to pregnancy predicted elevated psychosomatic symptoms during pregnancy. No other significant associations were found. In this study, traumatic childhood events were strongly associated with mental health symptoms during pregnancy. This is an important finding that suggests the importance of screening and targeting psychotherapeutic interventions for vulnerable women during pregnancy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health and Preventive Strategies in Order to Protect Pregnancy)
14 pages, 471 KiB  
Review
Review of Male and Female Care Needs in Schizophrenia: A New Specialized Clinical Unit for Women
by Alexandre González-Rodríguez, Mary V. Seeman, Mentxu Natividad, Pablo Barrio, Eloïsa Román, Ariadna Balagué, Jennipher Paola Paolini and José Antonio Monreal
Women 2023, 3(1), 107-120; https://doi.org/10.3390/women3010009 - 21 Feb 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2632
Abstract
Women with schizophrenia require health interventions that differ, in many ways, from those of men. The aim of this paper is to review male and female care needs and describe a newly established care unit for the treatment of women with schizophrenia. After [...] Read more.
Women with schizophrenia require health interventions that differ, in many ways, from those of men. The aim of this paper is to review male and female care needs and describe a newly established care unit for the treatment of women with schizophrenia. After reviewing the literature on the differentiated needs of men and women with schizophrenia, we describe the new unit’s assessment, intervention, and evaluation measures. The program consists of (1) individual/group patient/family therapy, (2) therapeutic drug monitoring and adherence checks, (3) perinatal mental health, (4) medical liaison, (5) suicide prevention/intervention, (6) social services with special focus on parenting, domestic abuse, and sexual exploitation, (7) home-based services, (8) peer support, (9) occupational therapies (physical activity and leisure programs), and (10) psychoeducation for both patients and families. Still in the planning stage are quality evaluation of diagnostic assessment, personalized care, drug optimization, health screening (reproductive health, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular health, cancer, menopausal status), and patient and family satisfaction with services provided. Woman-specific care represents an important resource that promises to deliver state-of-the-art treatment to women and, ideally, prevent mental illness in their offspring. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Psychosis in Women)
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12 pages, 403 KiB  
Article
Support Needs for Anxiety among Pregnant Women in Japan: A Qualitative Pilot Study
by Ritsuko Shirabe, Tsuyoshi Okuhara, Hiroko Okada, Eiko Goto and Takahiro Kiuchi
Women 2023, 3(1), 95-106; https://doi.org/10.3390/women3010008 - 8 Feb 2023
Viewed by 1919
Abstract
Support needs for pregnancy-related anxiety among low-risk pregnant women remain unclear. This study aimed to clarify the kinds of support for anxiety that women seek during pregnancy in Japan. Data were collected in a semi-structured focus group interview involving five pregnant women who [...] Read more.
Support needs for pregnancy-related anxiety among low-risk pregnant women remain unclear. This study aimed to clarify the kinds of support for anxiety that women seek during pregnancy in Japan. Data were collected in a semi-structured focus group interview involving five pregnant women who were not in specific risk groups, recruited from three facilities in Tokyo. We generated themes using inductive thematic analysis. This paper adhered to the consolidated criteria for reporting qualitative research. From the data on support needs for anxiety during pregnancy, three themes were derived: (1) seeking tailored professional support; (2) seeking continuous support within informal relationships; and (3) seeking others’ success stories in the same situation. These three types of support gave participants a sense of reassurance or raised concern, depending on the situation. We proposed a model comprising the three derived themes using social cognitive theory. We discussed how these three types of support influenced pregnant women’s self-efficacy, which is the core concept of the social cognitive theory. Our findings may help to plan theory-based research and effective interventions to provide support for women’s anxiety during pregnancy using a population approach. Our results also demonstrated the importance of collaboration with pregnant women in developing further research and interventions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health and Preventive Strategies in Order to Protect Pregnancy)
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13 pages, 259 KiB  
Article
Endometriosis Awareness Month on Social Media: A Content Analysis of Images and Captions on Instagram
by Brianna Le Busque and Sarah Mellish
Women 2023, 3(1), 82-94; https://doi.org/10.3390/women3010007 - 30 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3095
Abstract
Endometriosis Awareness Month (EAM) is a global movement that seeks to increase awareness of endometriosis. There is a paucity of peer-reviewed research that explores the social media activity of EAM, making it difficult to draw conclusions about what information is being shared. To [...] Read more.
Endometriosis Awareness Month (EAM) is a global movement that seeks to increase awareness of endometriosis. There is a paucity of peer-reviewed research that explores the social media activity of EAM, making it difficult to draw conclusions about what information is being shared. To address this gap, we performed inductive thematic analysis to investigate the visual and written content of images (n = 879 images), as well as post captions of N = 600 posts. that contained the hashtag “#endometriosisawarenessmonth”. Results show that written content within the images most frequently contained features of the disease. Caption content featured general/vague knowledge about the disease and general awareness of endometriosis, such as ‘pain (general/unspecified)’. The mental health impact of the disease was underrepresented in Instagram posts. Moving forward, the #endometriosisawarenessmonth campaign could be strengthened by communicating specific diagnostic and prevalence information, and harnessing conversations about the impact of the disease on mental health. Full article
9 pages, 250 KiB  
Protocol
Knowledge, Attitudes, Behavior, Acceptance, and Hesitancy in Relation to the COVID-19 Vaccine among Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women: A Systematic Review Protocol
by Vincenza Gianfredi, Alessandro Berti, Marilena D’Amico, Viola De Lorenzo and Silvana Castaldi
Women 2023, 3(1), 73-81; https://doi.org/10.3390/women3010006 - 20 Jan 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1572
Abstract
A new coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, was identified at the end of 2019. It swiftly spread all over the world, affecting more than 600 million people and causing over 6 million deaths worldwide. Different COVID-19 vaccines became available by the end of 2020. Healthcare workers [...] Read more.
A new coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, was identified at the end of 2019. It swiftly spread all over the world, affecting more than 600 million people and causing over 6 million deaths worldwide. Different COVID-19 vaccines became available by the end of 2020. Healthcare workers and more vulnerable people (such as the elderly and those with comorbidities) were initially prioritized, followed by the entire population, including pregnant and breastfeeding women. Despite the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines, a certain level of skepticism was expressed, including among pregnant and breastfeeding women. There were several reasons for this reluctancy, among them, fear of side-effects for both women and fetuses. Nevertheless, acceptance, as well as hesitancy, were time, country and vaccine specific. This review will collect available evidence assessing knowledge, attitudes, behaviour, practice and acceptance/hesitancy of pregnant/breastfeeding women in relation to the COVID-19 vaccination. The PubMed/MEDLINE, Scopus and EMBASE databases will be consulted. A predefined search strategy that combines both free text and MESH terms will be used. The systematic review will adhere to the PRISMA guidelines and the results will be reported in both narrative and summary tables. A meta-analysis will be conducted if data are available. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health and Preventive Strategies in Order to Protect Pregnancy)
2 pages, 143 KiB  
Editorial
Acknowledgment to the Reviewers of Women in 2022
by Women Editorial Office
Women 2023, 3(1), 71-72; https://doi.org/10.3390/women3010005 - 20 Jan 2023
Viewed by 883
Abstract
High-quality academic publishing is built on rigorous peer review [...] Full article
18 pages, 1136 KiB  
Article
Child Marriage and Later-Life Risk of Obesity in Women: A Cohort Analysis Using Nationally Representative Repeated Cross-Sectional Data from Tajikistan
by Biplab Datta, Ashwini Tiwari and Sara Attari
Women 2023, 3(1), 53-70; https://doi.org/10.3390/women3010004 - 11 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2030
Abstract
Child marriage, defined as union before age 18 years, has detrimental health and socioeconomic consequences. This study examines whether women married as children have a disproportionately higher risk of being obese at adulthood compared to their peers married as adults. Using data from [...] Read more.
Child marriage, defined as union before age 18 years, has detrimental health and socioeconomic consequences. This study examines whether women married as children have a disproportionately higher risk of being obese at adulthood compared to their peers married as adults. Using data from the 2012 and 2017 waves of the Tajikistan Demographic and Health Survey, we matched women aged 25 to 49 years by birth year and month to create four birth cohorts. We fitted multivariable logistic regressions to assess the differential odds of being obese and estimated simultaneous quantile regression models to examine the differences in average body mass index (BMI) between women married as adults and as children within birth cohorts. We found that the adjusted odds of being obese for women married as children were 1.5 (CI: 1.3–1.7) times those of those who were married as adults, after controlling for sociodemographic correlates along with birth cohort and survey wave fixed effects. Results of the quantile regression analyses suggest higher expected BMI levels among women married as children compared to those of women married as adults across different quantiles of BMI. The differences though were more pronounced in the younger cohorts than in the older cohorts. Full article
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12 pages, 503 KiB  
Article
Determinants of Depression, Anxiety, and Stress among Pregnant Women Attending Tertiary Hospitals in Urban Centers, Nigeria
by Anthony Ike Wegbom, Clement Kevin Edet, Amaka Azubuike Ogba, Benjamin Osarolaka Osaro, Agiriye M. Harry, Biteegeregha Godfrey Pepple and Adeniyi Francis Fagbamigbe
Women 2023, 3(1), 41-52; https://doi.org/10.3390/women3010003 - 6 Jan 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 4291
Abstract
Most times, pregnancy is considered a joyous event, but it also heightens a woman’s emotional and psychological state. Globally, some women suffer mental disorders, especially in developing nations. In Nigeria, there is evidence for a high prevalence of depression, anxiety, and stress during [...] Read more.
Most times, pregnancy is considered a joyous event, but it also heightens a woman’s emotional and psychological state. Globally, some women suffer mental disorders, especially in developing nations. In Nigeria, there is evidence for a high prevalence of depression, anxiety, and stress during pregnancy. Therefore, this study aimed to estimate the severity and factors associated with depression, anxiety, and stress among pregnant women in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. A facility-based cross-sectional survey was carried out in the two tertiary hospitals in Port Harcourt city between September and October 2022 using the Depression Anxiety and Stress Scale-21 (DASS-21). Univariate, bivariate, and multivariate analyses were performed using STATA 16. The proportional odds model (POM) was used, and the statistical significance was set at p ≤ 0.05. A total of 413 respondents participated in the study, of whom 9.5%, 26.6%, and 17.3% had at least moderate depression, anxiety, and stress, respectively. Marital status, educational levels, and employment status were significantly associated with depression. Marital status, religion, and trimester were significantly associated with anxiety, while age, marital status, educational level, religion, income, trimester, and previous abortions/miscarriages were significantly related to stress. This study showed evidence of moderate-to-extremely severe anxiety, stress, and depression, as well as factors associated with these disorders. Our findings have implications for strengthening mental health policies as they pertain to antenatal care. Full article
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19 pages, 846 KiB  
Article
“We Beat Them to Help Them Push”: Midwives’ Perceptions on Obstetric Violence in the Ashante and Western Regions of Ghana
by Abena Asefuaba Yalley
Women 2023, 3(1), 22-40; https://doi.org/10.3390/women3010002 - 28 Dec 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2455
Abstract
Obstetric violence has been recognized as a major impediment to facility-based delivery, increasing the risk of preventable complications and maternal mortality. In Ghana, studies on women’s birth experiences reveal enormous and brutal acts of violence during delivery; however, inquiries into why midwives abuse [...] Read more.
Obstetric violence has been recognized as a major impediment to facility-based delivery, increasing the risk of preventable complications and maternal mortality. In Ghana, studies on women’s birth experiences reveal enormous and brutal acts of violence during delivery; however, inquiries into why midwives abuse women have not been extensively studied. This study explored the perspectives of midwives on the drivers of obstetric violence in the Western and Ashante Regions of Ghana. A qualitative study was conducted involving 30 in-depth interviews with midwives in eight health facilities. The data were analyzed thematically using NVivo 12. The results of the study reveal a normalization of violence in the delivery room and the intensity of violence is heightened during the second stage of labor. Midwives reported perpetrating or witnessing physical violence, abandonment of women, stigmatization of HIV women, verbal abuses such as shouting, and the detention of women in the health facilities. Midwives abuse women as a result of the pressures of the midwifery profession, poor maternal efforts of women, disrespect of midwives, women’s disobedience, and uncooperative attitudes. The culture of acceptability of obstetric violence is a major driver, contributing to its normalization. Midwives do not consider obstetric violence as abuse, but rather, as a delivery strategy which aids a successful delivery. It is therefore justified and viewed as a necessary part of the delivery process. There is a critical need for retraining midwives on alternative birthing strategies devoid of violence. Full article
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21 pages, 998 KiB  
Systematic Review
A Qualitative Systematic Review of Experiences and Barriers Faced by Migrant Women with Perinatal Depression in Canada
by Gil Angela Dela Cruz, Samantha Johnstone, Daisy R. Singla, Tony P. George and David J. Castle
Women 2023, 3(1), 1-21; https://doi.org/10.3390/women3010001 - 27 Dec 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3213
Abstract
Perinatal depression is the onset of depressive symptoms during pregnancy and up to one year after childbirth. Migrant women are at higher risk of experiencing perinatal depression due to numerous psychosocial stressors related to their experiences. This qualitative review aims to aggregate the [...] Read more.
Perinatal depression is the onset of depressive symptoms during pregnancy and up to one year after childbirth. Migrant women are at higher risk of experiencing perinatal depression due to numerous psychosocial stressors related to their experiences. This qualitative review aims to aggregate the experiences and barriers to care faced by immigrant and refugee women in Canada who have perinatal depression. Qualitative research can elucidate the barriers to treatment and culturally-impacted experiences of Canadian migrant women with perinatal depression. Following PRISMA and Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) guidelines for conducting qualitative systematic reviews, 13 eligible studies representing 10 samples (N = 262 participants) were identified and included in this review. Participants included service providers, immigrant women, and refugee women. Three synthesized themes were identified by this review using the JBI meta-aggregative approach: (1) culture-related challenges; (2) migration-related challenges; and (3) service accessibility and quality. Within these themes were experiences of migrant women that encompass six categories: (1) conceptualization of perinatal depression; (2) childbirth-specific challenges; (3) migration-related challenges; (4) social isolation; (5) accessibility of services; and (6) quality of care. The role of family, cultural differences, financial challenges, and the effects of these on service accessibility are impactful in the experiences of migrant women. A greater understanding of the role of both culture and migration in the delivery of care, especially regarding service provider attitudes in more representative samples, is recommended. Full article
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