Migrant women's experiences of maternity care


  • Dr Gwyneth Lonergan

    Lancaster University

Project summary

Migrant women are often singled out as a problem in policies and discussions about ‘health tourism’. A government press release about the 2014 Immigration Act specifically mentioned that pregnant women would be prevented from ‘abusing’ the NHS under the Act. There is also increasingly clinical evidence that migrant women are more likely to die in childbirth. Despite this, little research has been done on migrant women’s experiences of maternity care. 

I will explore migrant women’s experiences of maternity care in England, placing these experiences in the wider social context of growing anti-immigration sentiment and the funding crisis in the NHS. I will establish whether migrant women can access adequate care, and I will look at the visible and invisible barriers that prevent access to care and what the consequences of this are for migrant women and their children. I will also investigate how NHS staff understand their role in deciding who can access services and care.