Immigrant women giving birth in Spain suffer 'great stress,' a study warns

May 30, 2012

A study conducted at the University of Granada has concluded that most immigrant women who give birth in Spain suffer "severe stress" and should receive psychological treatment after giving birth to help them overcome disorders such as obsessive compulsive disorder, phobic anxiety, depression or psychoticism. These disorders are caused by "the stress of labor itself combined with other personal stress factors. This is a very stressful moment in women's life due to biological, psychological and social factors".

This study has been conducted by Francisca Pérez Ramírez and coordinated by Inmaculada García García and Isabel Peralta Ramírez at the University of Granada Department of Nursing. The study also revealed that immigrant women generally enter the pregnancy check-up program six weeks later than Spanish women, as they enter it at 12 weeks of gestation, while Spanish women start at 6-7 weeks. As a result, they undergo less ultrasound scans.

Francisca Pérez explains that they found significant differences in immigrant women's attendance to childbirth classes. "Spanish women attend childbirth classes much more frequently than immigrant women, perhaps because these classes are held at work hours or because they are given in Spanish".

Irregular Situation

The primary author of this article explains that immigrant women may experience greater stress "due to the fact that they are illegal immigrants, so they believe that as soon as they enter the hospital they will be deported, or the stress that Muslim women suffer when they have to ask for special food during their in-hospital stay, communication problems, or because they feel discriminated for wearing headscarf".

To carry out this study, 163 postpartum women were sampled between 2009 and 2011 at the University Hospital Virgen de las Nieves, Granada, Spain. All women -- immigrant women and 83 Spanish women- were asked to answer four questionnaires. In addition, their medical records, partographs and midwifery records were examined.

The researchers analyzed participants' sociodemographic variables (age, country of origin, nationality, years of residence in Spain, administrative status); health habits (smoking, previous diseases); habits related with obstetric formula (number of pregnancies and miscarriages); factors related with current pregnancy (check- ups and ultrasound scans underwent)and newborn information (sex, birthweight, Apgar score at 1 and 5 minutes, or feeding method). Values for optimism, vulnerability to stress and perceived stress were obtained by personal interviews.

In the light of the results of this study, the researcher notes that "we should understand the cultural factors interfering immigrant pregnant women's experiences, and include respect for diversity of beliefs and values in postnatal care.

The results of this study will be partially published in Journal of Transcultural Nursing, Revista Latino-Americana de Enfermagem and Anales de Psicología.
-end-
Contact: Francisca Pérez Ramírez. University of Granada, Department of Nursing. Phone Number +34 958 020022. E-mail Address: francisca.perez.sspa@juntadeandalucia.es

University of Granada

Related Stress Articles from Brightsurf:

Stress-free gel
Researchers at The University of Tokyo studied a new mechanism of gelation using colloidal particles.

Early life stress is associated with youth-onset depression for some types of stress but not others
Examining the association between eight different types of early life stress (ELS) and youth-onset depression, a study in JAACAP, published by Elsevier, reports that individuals exposed to ELS were more likely to develop a major depressive disorder (MDD) in childhood or adolescence than individuals who had not been exposed to ELS.

Red light for stress
Researchers from the Institute of Industrial Science at The University of Tokyo have created a biphasic luminescent material that changes color when exposed to mechanical stress.

How do our cells respond to stress?
Molecular biologists reverse-engineer a complex cellular structure that is associated with neurodegenerative diseases such as ALS

How stress remodels the brain
Stress restructures the brain by halting the production of crucial ion channel proteins, according to research in mice recently published in JNeurosci.

Why stress doesn't always cause depression
Rats susceptible to anhedonia, a core symptom of depression, possess more serotonin neurons after being exposed to chronic stress, but the effect can be reversed through amygdala activation, according to new research in JNeurosci.

How plants handle stress
Plants get stressed too. Drought or too much salt disrupt their physiology.

Stress in the powerhouse of the cell
University of Freiburg researchers discover a new principle -- how cells protect themselves from mitochondrial defects.

Measuring stress around cells
Tissues and organs in the human body are shaped through forces generated by cells, that push and pull, to ''sculpt'' biological structures.

Cellular stress at the movies
For the first time, biological imaging experts have used a custom fluorescence microscope and a novel antibody tagging tool to watch living cells undergoing stress.

Read More: Stress News and Stress Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.