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Journal of Pregnancy
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 8783294, 14 pages
Review Article

Scoping Review on Maternal Health among Immigrant and Refugee Women in Canada: Prenatal, Intrapartum, and Postnatal Care

1Faculty of Health, York University, Toronto, ON, Canada
2Centre for Urban Health Solutions, St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto, ON, Canada

Correspondence should be addressed to N. Khanlou

Received 17 August 2016; Revised 27 December 2016; Accepted 4 January 2017; Published 22 January 2017

Academic Editor: Fabio Facchinetti

Copyright © 2017 N. Khanlou et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The last fifteen years have seen a dramatic increase in both the childbearing age and diversity of women migrating to Canada. The resulting health impact underscores the need to explore access to health services and the related maternal health outcome. This article reports on the results of a scoping review focused on migrant maternal health within the context of accessible and effective health services during pregnancy and following delivery. One hundred and twenty-six articles published between 2000 and 2016 that met our inclusion criteria and related to this group of migrant women, with pregnancy/motherhood status, who were living in Canada, were identified. This review points at complex health outcomes among immigrant and refugee women that occur within the compelling gaps in our knowledge of maternal health during all phases of maternity. Throughout the prenatal, intrapartum, and postnatal periods of maternity, barriers to accessing healthcare services were found to disadvantage immigrant and refugee women putting them at risk for challenging maternal health outcomes. Interactions between the uptake of health information and factors related to the process of immigrant settlement were identified as major barriers. Availability of appropriate services in a country that provides universal healthcare is discussed.