Maternal Health and Wellbeing
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Optimising food choices and practices for immigrant women

Research by the Maternal Health and Wellbeing Research Group is helping to inform nutrition recommendations for immigrant women during pregnancy and after they give birth.

Immigrant women can be regarded as vulnerable, in part because they face challenges to access and receive equitable and culturally appropriate healthcare. 

This project, led by Professor Gina Higginbottom and funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, explores how the health beliefs and practices of immigrant women in the Canadian cities of Edmonton and Ottawa affect their food choices and practices during the perinatal period. It also looks at how current perinatal nutrition recommendations can be tailored and delivered to women in an accessible way. 

YouTube support

Phases one and two of the study used a photo-voice methodology and semi-structured interviews to create an in-depth understanding of 73 immigrant women. 

In phase three, consultations with healthcare professionals and immigrant support agencies were combined with the results from the first two phases to produce culturally appropriate YouTube videos. These were aimed at immigrant women and discussed perinatal food choices. 

Narratives for the videos were customised for each ethnocultural group (Sudanese, Rwandan, South Asian and Chinese) and are currently being evaluated in phase four through focus groups with immigrant women and healthcare professionals.  

Read more about this project and watch the videos


Meet our researchers

Professor Gina Higginbottom MBE

Gina is the Mary Seacole Professor of Ethnicity and Community Health and is an international expert on ethnic minority populations and immigrant health and maternity. 

Read more.

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Maternal Health and Wellbeing Research Group

The University of Nottingham
School of Health Sciences
Queen's Medical Centre
Nottingham, NG7 2HA

telephone: +44 (0)115 823 0820