Midwives’ experiences caring for asylum-seeking women in the UK: a systematic review

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Background/Aims: Asylum-seeking women face higher rates of maternal and neonatal mortality as a result of multiple barriers to accessing maternity care. Midwives are currently experiencing short staffing and high rates of burnout. Complex cases can add additional workload and stress. There is an evidence gap concerning midwives’ experiences of caring for asylum-seeking women in the UK. This study's aim was to examine the existing literature on this topic and consider the findings against the current realities of working within the NHS maternity system.

Methods: Literature was screened using the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme qualitative article checklist and the preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses flow diagram. Eight studies were included and analysed for thematic similarities.

Results: The results of the systematic review were categorised into three themes: racism and resentment, structural difficulties and systematic problems.

Conclusions: Midwives lacked the time to appropriately care for asylum-seeking women. A lack of time and resources may negatively impact midwives’ attitudes towards asylum-seeking women.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)490-501
Number of pages12
JournalBritish Journal of Midwifery
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2 Sep 2022


  • Asylum seeker
  • Midwifery burnout
  • Racism
  • Resource limitation
  • Stereotyping

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