Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
Born into Direct Provision Outcomes of Infants Born to Asylum Seekers.pdf (166.38 kB)
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Born into direct provision: outcomes of infants born to asylum seekers

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journal contribution
posted on 2022-08-30, 13:24 authored by Claire MurphyClaire Murphy, E Loftus, Fergal MaloneFergal Malone, Naomi McCallionNaomi McCallion


Asylum seekers in Ireland have free access to antenatal care. Our aim was to review the outcomes of liveborn infants to mothers living in direct provision centres and the antenatal care their mothers accessed. 


This was a retrospective review of infants born to asylum seekers, between November 2017 and February 2020, in a tertiary neonatal unit. The results were compared to the 2018 general hospital outcomes. 


During this period, 81 neonates were born to 78 asylum seekers. The median booking gestation was 30+4 weeks and only 9 (12%) had an early dating scan and 30 (42%) had a complete anatomy scan. Fifteen (20%) mothers had positive serology. Ten (12%) neonates were born prematurely, 20 (25%) were admitted to NICU and there were two (2%) neonatal deaths. At discharge, only 19 (23%) were exclusively breast fed. Fifty-six (71%) infants were followed in clinic and 10 (18%) had at least one “non-attendance”. Sixteen (20%) patients used an interpreter and language barriers lead to several miscommunications. 


Infants born to asylum seekers had significantly higher rates of NICU admission (25% v 13%), maternal blood borne infections (20% v 1.5%) and lower rates of exclusive breastfeeding (23% v 45%) compared with the general hospital population.



The original article is available at

Published Citation

Murphy CA, Loftus E, Malone F, McCallion N. Born into direct provision: outcomes of infants born to asylum seekers. IMJ. 2020;113(10):206

Publication Date

November 2020


  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Paediatrics


Irish Medical Association


  • Published Version (Version of Record)