In the “Birth in America” documentary, there were multiple factors that caused maternal mortality rate. Among those factors, we know that “while research into maternal health disparities seen among immigrant populations appears to be lacking, one disparity remains obvious: access to health care” (Howard, J. CNN. The stress pregnant immigrants face in America. 2018). Access to healthcare is one of the biggest issues that so many people face around the world, especially immigrants in America. This is one of the biggest influences of maternal mortality because they do not have the proper resources to get treatment or care during their pregnancy. They could live miles away from the nearest hospital and face childbirth complications. Some people just can’t afford healthcare. They don’t have insurance or money at all in some countries. Unprofessional procedures can cause serious health complications for the mother and the baby. With all the possible complications they could face, their stress levels increase and influence a lot of the more serious health disparities they come across.
I was already aware that the United States had a horrible maternal mortality rate because of the lack of maternal care we provide. "All women should ideally have contact with a maternal care provider within the first 3 weeks postpartum. This initial assessment should be followed up with ongoing care as needed, concluding with a comprehensive postpartum visit no later than 12 weeks after birth” (MGH Center for Women's Mental Health. 2018). We fail to provide care for the one who just gave birth. There are many psychological factors that can impact a women’s life after giving birth and become more at risk for post-partum complications. In our healthcare system, since these kinds of complications aren’t normally monitored, let alone covered by insurance, we can start to educate mothers on how to cope with those psychological issues. There are resources that aim to help those mothers facing those issues. Another thing that we should do as a nation is expand the FMLA act by providing paid maternal leave. Right now, we offer a secure spot in our jobs for 12 works weeks of maternal leave. We found that “paid maternal leave brought in profits or had no effect at all” (CBSN. Why paid maternity leave is a smart business. 2016), so incorporating paid maternal leave would do more good for the company than bad.
This week, we've examined infertility from a cultural relativist and universalist perspective. How is the issue of infertility seen in the culture and community in which you grew up? How could one argue the right to have access to infertility care should be a human right?
In the community and culture that I grew up in, reproductive justice is not a common topic to discuss. It actually is one of those topics you don’t discuss at the dinner table. I was in vacation in the Philippines in December and remember having a talk with my little cousins about sexual education. They asked me about my experience with sexual education since it’s not talked about in school because everyone is expected to wait until marriage to avoid unwanted pregnancies. Philippines is a Christian-Catholic dominant country and I, myself, practice Catholicism. Religion plays a large role for the community and affects their accessibility to resources such as contraceptives. I asked them about the kinds of birth control they offer, and she couldn’t tell me what birth control was. Being an 18-year-old, uneducated but curious about sex and relationships was already a factor that influences unplanned pregnancies. The obvious, condoms, were the only thing that she knew about. She mentioned that the use of contraceptives can cause infertility and that’s why it’s not offered nor easily accessible for women. It’s NOT OKAY to be sexually educated because it goes against the concept of being holy. Having the right to access contraceptives and infertility care should be a human right especially in countries where it’s frowned upon because it prevents more than just unplanned pregnancies and birth complications. Having access to that care prevents it from happening through treatment, care and support. Young teens won’t know any better if they don’t know anything which is why education is so important. Different families can practice what they want, whether it be waiting for marriage or staying abstinent forever but knowing where to go without feeling like they’re going to hell for it can decrease the risk of psychological issues.
CBSN. Why paid maternity leave is a smart business. 2016. Retrieved from https://www.cbsnews.com/video/why-paid-maternity-leave-is-a-smart-business-move/
Howard, J. CNN. The stress pregnant immigrants face in America. 2018. Retrieved from https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/23/health/pregnant-immigrant-women-every-mother-counts/index.html
MGH Center for Women's Mental Health. Postpartum Care in the United States: Some Progress But Still So Far to Go. 2018. Retrieved from https://womensmentalhealth.org/posts/postpartum-care-progress-but-still-far-to-go/