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Media opportunity: Isolating, overwhelming and exhausting ‑‑ Dalhousie University researchers examine the postnatal experiences of resettled Syrian women in Nova Scotia
It is supposed to be a time of joy and excitement over the promise of new life but for some resettled Syrian refugees in Nova Scotia, giving birth and trying to access postnatal healthcare can be isolating, exhausting and frightening.
Researchers at Dalhousie University looked into the experiences of Syrian women seeking healthcare services and supports after having their babies in Halifax during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In interviews with Syrian women, they found many encountered systemic barriers to care that were compounded by restrictions put in place during the early stages of the pandemic.
Some gave birth alone or were unable to communicate with health-care staff due to a lack of interpreters, while many indicated they were exhausted and overwhelmed due an absence of postpartum social supports.
Emma Stirling-Cameron, a research associate at Dalhousie, led the project and outlined her findings in one of the first papers to report on the experiences of resettled refugee women who were postnatal early in the pandemic in Canada.
Stirling-Cameron is available to discuss the research and how these women’s mental health was also affected by the competing challenges of new motherhood, limited support and fear and exhaustion caused by the pandemic.
Senior Research Reporter
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