The social circumstances of parents are critical to their experience of having a baby and refugee background families may encounter particular challenges. The study Having a Baby in a New Country was conducted in order to develop a better understanding of the issues facing refugee background families, focusing on Afghan women and men and health professionals in Melbourne’s southeast.
The study found that while Afghan women and men commonly experienced significant social hardship they were rarely asked about their social health by maternity or early childhood health services. Health professionals’ ability to respond effectively to non-clinical needs was hampered by factors such as their limited understanding of the context of migration, the dependency of ny Afghan women on their husbands for interpreting, short appointments and the likelihood that families see different health professionals at pregnancy visits.
The study was conducted by the Healthy Mothers Healthy Families research group at the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute and the Victorian Foundation for Survivors of Torture. A paper reporting the findings can be accessed below.
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