More than interpreters needed: the specialized care of the immigrant pregnant patient

Obstet Gynecol Surv. 2014 Aug;69(8):490-500. doi: 10.1097/OGX.0000000000000099.


The immigrant pregnant woman faces unique challenges. This article provides an overview of these challenges and interventions to maximize health outcomes for the immigrant pregnant woman. A patient's immigrant status may impact her social stability and access to health care. Lack of familiarity with western health care, health financing, and the English language can create significant barriers. In addition, providers must remember to evaluate the immigrant pregnant woman for underlying health conditions that may be present including infectious diseases endemic to their country of origin and chronic diseases or cervical center as yet unidentified because of lack of previous health care screening. Female genital modification found in some immigrant populations can be associated with poorer obstetric outcomes and should be documented and addressed. Finally, some immigrant populations have a high incidence of past severe trauma and need additional psychiatric evaluation and support.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Pain / etiology
  • Circumcision, Female
  • Communication Barriers
  • Emigrants and Immigrants / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Emigrants and Immigrants / psychology
  • Female
  • Headache / etiology
  • Health Services Accessibility*
  • Humans
  • Insurance, Health
  • Language
  • Musculoskeletal Pain / etiology
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / diagnosis*
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Prenatal Care*
  • Torture / psychology