Obstetric Profiles of Immigrant Women from Non‐English Speaking Countries in South Australia, 1981–1983

A. Chan, D. Roder, T. Macharper

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Summary: Obstetric profiles of non‐English speaking immigrant women in South Australia are presented to assist in planning for health services. They were derived from perinatal data routinely collected by midwives and neonatal nurses. The characteristics of 5,675 immigrant women were compared with those of a random sample of approximately 5% of Australian‐born women who delivered babies in 1981–1983 in South Australia. This study demonstrates that immigrant women tended to be urban dwellers and to deliver their babies in large metropolitan hospitals. They were less often from unemployed families but more often from those of low occupational status. They were older, with fewer teenagers and single women among them. They were of higher parity, and tended to commence antenatal care later. They had lower incidences of pregnancy hypertension and induced labour, but were more likely to have anaemia, antepartum haemorrhage and a Caesarean section. There were also important differences between the 7 largest immigrant groups. For example, the very high Caesarean section rate (36%) in Filipino women is of concern. Also, the mean birth‐weight of babies of Vietnamese women was 263g lower than that of babies of Australian‐born women. Support services need to be logistically located and address the findings of this study in a culturally acceptable way.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)90-95
Number of pages6
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1988
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology

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