Perinatal health care for undocumented women in Montreal: when sub-standard care is almost the rule

Rousseau, C,; Ricard-Guay, A.; Laurin-Lamothe, A.; Gagnon, AJ.; Rousseau, H. (2014)

Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

4(3) | 217

Objective: This mixed method study examines the perinatal health care for undocumented women in Montreal (Quebec) and documents their experiences of that care.

Method(s): Files of precarious status women were reviewed (n = 591) at a major hospital and two community health centres in Montreal to document maternity services received. Through in-depth semi-structured interviews, 18 undocu-
mented women described their experiences of help seeking during pregnancy.

Results: File review confirmed that being uninsured is associated with substandard prenatal care. The qualitative analysis highlighted the numerous difficulties and sometimes abusive situations that undocumented pregnant women encounter while trying to access perinatal care.

Conclusion: These results suggest that it is urgent to revise provincial health policies in order to facilitate the access of undocumented women to care during the perinatal period.