The number of refugees and asylum seekers throughout the world continues to increase, leading to increasing challenges in meeting healthcare needs of these individuals. Women’s antenatal health is of particular concern due to their vulnerability to sexual violence and the substantial proportion of refugees consisting of women and girls of or nearing reproductive age. The purpose of this qualitative metasynthesis was to integrate and interpret findings from previously published research reports in which authors explored aspects of pregnancy among resettled refugee women. Following a systematic search process, we used Dedoose qualitative data analysis software to manage the process of extracting and condensing data from primary sources. We developed themes including: comparing pregnancy care in resettlement with care at home; navigating unfamiliar language and cultural practices; making meaning through pregnancy and associated healthcare experiences. Our analysis revealed authors used thematic analysis regardless of research design, limiting the range of reported findings. Prior research focused on identifying challenges to pregnancy in resettlement; our findings expand this by considering how women navigate and make meaning from challenges. Service providers might encourage mentally healthy resettlement by guiding refugees to consider differences in an open-minded rather than judgmental attitude that respects old and new cultures.


Refugee, Pregnancy, Qualitative Research, Metasynthesis, Meta-Themes

Author Bio(s)

Diana M. Kingsbury is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Family & Community Medicine at the Northeast Ohio Medical University in Rootstown, Ohio. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: dkingsbury@neomed.edu.

Sheryl L. Chatfield is Assistant Professor in the College of Public Health at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: schatfi1@kent.edu.

Publication Date


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.





To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.