Mourning the support of women postpartum: The experiences of migrants in Cape Town, South Africa

Health Care Women Int. 2016 Sep;37(9):1010-1024. doi: 10.1080/07399332.2016.1185106. Epub 2016 May 4.


The maintenance of social networks amongst migrant diasporas has been previously emphasized. When caring for a new baby in particular, however, hands-on social supports are needed. These social supports are poorly understood for migrants. This qualitative study of maternal postpartum support included 23 in-depth interviews with postpartum migrant women and nine focus groups with adult men and women (N = 48) in Cape Town. The absence of nonworking women specifically, and social support generally, was central to migrants' descriptions of stress and infant feeding. The absence of elder and other nonworking women in migrant contexts may add vulnerability to already marginal communities.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Breast Feeding
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Postnatal Care / methods*
  • Postpartum Period*
  • Pregnancy
  • Qualitative Research
  • Social Environment
  • Social Support*
  • South Africa
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Transients and Migrants / psychology*