Transnational prenatal care among migrant women from low-and-middle-income countries who gave birth in Montreal, Canada

Merry, L., Kim, Y. N., Urquia, M. L., Goulet, J., Villadsen, S. F., & Gagnon, A. (2023, avril)

BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth

Vol. 23/Article Number: 292 | 18 p.



There is little research examining transnational prenatal care (TPC) (i.e., prenatal care in more than one country) among migrant women. Using data from the Migrant-Friendly Maternity Care (MFMC) – Montreal project, we aimed to: (1) Estimate the prevalence of TPC, including TPC-arrived during pregnancy and TPC-arrived pre-pregnancy, among recently-arrived migrant women from low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) who gave birth in Montreal, Canada; (2) Describe and compare the socio-demographic, migration and health profiles and perceptions of care during pregnancy in Canada between these two groups and migrant women who received no TPC (i.e., only received prenatal care in Canada); and (3) Identify predictors of TPC-arrived pre-pregnancy vs. No-TPC.


The MFMC study used a cross-sectional design. Data were gathered from recently-arrived (< 8 years) migrant women from LMICs via medical record review and interview-administration of the MFMC questionnaire postpartum during the period of March 2014-January 2015 in three hospitals, and February-June 2015 in one hospital. We conducted a secondary analysis (n = 2595 women); descriptive analyses (objectives 1 & 2) and multivariable logistic regression (objective 3).


Ten percent of women received TPC; 6% arrived during pregnancy and 4% were in Canada pre-pregnancy. The women who received TPC and arrived during pregnancy were disadvantaged compared to women in the other two groups (TPC-arrived pre-pregnancy and No-TPC women), in terms of income level, migration status, French and English language abilities, access barriers to care and healthcare coverage. However, they also had a higher proportion of economic migrants and they were generally healthier compared to No-TPC women. Predictors of TPC-arrived pre-pregnancy included: ‘Not living with the father of the baby’ (AOR = 4.8, 95%CI 2.4, 9.8), ‘having negative perceptions of pregnancy care in Canada (general experiences)’ (AOR = 1.2, 95%CI 1.1, 1.3) and younger maternal age (AOR = 1.1, 95%CI 1.0, 1.1).


Women with more capacity may self-select to migrate during pregnancy which results in TPC; these women, however, are disadvantaged upon arrival, and may need additional care. Already-migrated women may use TPC due to a need for family and social support and/or because they prefer the healthcare in their home country.