Doctoral dissertation

Transferred to a remote connection - The risk of pregnancy and delivery complications heightened among some migrant groups

Kalpana Bastola
The doctoral research of Kalpana Bastola identified several differences in pregnancy, delivery and neonatal outcomes between women of migrant origin and Finnish women giving birth in Finland between years 2004 and 2014. The study was based on data from the Finnish Medical Birth Register and Statistics Finland.

When using Finnish women as the reference group, women of Somali and Kurdish origin were identified as the high-risk groups for overweight and obesity before pregnancy. Similarly, Kurdish-origin women had a higher risk for the development of diabetes during pregnancy and Somali-origin women had a higher risk for delivery complications such as obstructed labour and postpartum haemorrhage.

Women of Sub-Saharan African, South Asian and East Asian origin had a higher risk for an emergency caesarean delivery, preterm birth, and a low birthweight baby. Additionally, women of Latin American or Caribbean origin had an excess risk of both elective and emergency caesarean delivery. In general, women of Russian/former USSR origin had lower risks of poor pregnancy, delivery and neonatal outcomes.

“More research is needed to better understand the reasons and mechanisms behind these differences and to develop interventions for improving the health of the higher-risk groups. The identified high risk-groups may need additional counselling on weight management and special attention in maternal and newborn care”, Bastola says.

The doctoral dissertation of Master of Health Sciences Kalpana Bastola in the field of Epidemiology and Public Health titled Health of pregnant migrant women and their newborns in Finland will be publicly examined in the Faculty of Social Sciences at Tampere University at 12:00 on Friday 22 May 2020. The Opponent will be Associate Professor Bernadette N Kumar from University of Oslo, Norway. The Custos will be docent Tarja I Kinnunen from Faculty of Social Sciences.

Because of the coronavirus, Tampere University’s dissertation defences are not organised as public events. However, it is possible to follow the public examinations via a remote connection. If the remote connection does not work properly, you may also follow the dissertation defence via Zoom.

The dissertation is available online at