Pregnancy and Neonatal Outcomes

The most robust data available on pregnancy outcomes in resettled refugee women in the U.S. is among Somali women. This group of women has been shown to be at increased risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes, including increased cesarean delivery associated with fetal distress and failed induction of labor, delivery beyond the expected due date, decreased amniotic fluid, diabetes during pregnancy, and vaginal tears during delivery.

Neonatal outcomes have also been shown to be poor, including infants requiring prolonged hospitalization, possessing lower 5-minute Apgar scores, requiring assisted ventilation, and inhaling meconium during delivery (meconium aspiration syndrome).[1]

Research is underway to determine the factors influencing these adverse pregnancy and neonatal outcomes, understand whether these outcomes are seen across other refugee ethnic/cultural groups, and find effective intervention strategies to improve reproductive health outcomes.

Other Pregnancy Topics:

Contributed by Crista Johnson-Agbakwu, M.D., M.Sc., F.A.C.O.G.

[1] Johnson EB, Reed SD, Hitti J, Batra M. Increased risk of adverse pregnancy outcome among Somali immigrants in Washington State. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2005; 193:475-82.