Social determinants of health and their impact on post partum morbidity among midwifery, physician and obstetrician clients in British Columbia

After giving birth, some women have difficulty adjusting to their new role as a mother. Some problems can be attributed to injuries from childbirth, while others, such as depression, fatigue and long-term pain, are not as easily understood. Using questionnaires and face-to-face interviews, Dr. Rachel Westfall is investigating how women’s income, education and support networks affect their recovery from pregnancy and childbirth and the adjustment to being a parent. Dr. Westfall is also looking at the different types of post-partum care available in BC — including midwifery, general physician care and obstetrician care — to assess how some approaches may meet women’s needs better than others. Results from the research could be used to improve post-partum care and the transition to motherhood for BC women.