Respond to one of the video stories you watched about birth in America. Describe 3 factors that influence maternal mortality in America among women of color. Did you realize the U.S. had such a horrible maternal rate for a developing country? What are 2 things that could be done by our healthcare system to better support expectant mothers? Be sure to credit your sources.
One of the video stories that I watched about birth in America that stuck out to me the most was on California. It occurred to me that undocumented immigrants have trouble accessing hospitals or clinics because of how scared there are about being deported. And I understand that this should be a no brainer, but it never occurred to me that one would be questioned on their immigration status to be seen at these places? I felt that as a physician or staff, their only business is on their patient’s health. It’s quite unfortunate seeing that there are mothers who are constantly on edge while bearing a child because that causes an immense amount of stress. I am just glad though that in California, they are able to offer insurance, Medi-Cal, for all expecting mothers regardless of what their immigration status may be. This is great, but I don’t understand why one’s immigration status matters over just basic human rights. All people deserve to be seen and taken care of professionally by physicians. And I think this is what is so wrong with America, our healthcare system seems to be coming a privilege rather than a right. Everyone should be entitled to proper healthcare regardless of any immigration status or socioeconomic factors.
One of the factors that influence maternal mortality in America is insurance coverage. A woman’s insurance status can impact their health and the type of care she receives before, during, and after pregnancy, which affects her likelihood of having a healthy pregnancy and delivery and of receiving necessary care after birth (Hayes). Another factor would be racial/ethnic disparities. It has been shown that those of colored have greater maternal mortality prevalence among those of noncolored. African American and Native American women are more likely to die from pregnancy related issues than Hispanic and white non-Hispanic women. Social Determinants of Health contribute to these rates because black women with a college degree were still 2.4 times more likely to suffer severe maternal morbidity and 1.6 times more likely to die from a pregnancy-related complication than a white woman with less than a high school education (Hayes). The third factor would be the accessibility to quality healthcare that is offered. There are 2.4 million women of reproductive age, have no hospital obstetric services and also face primary-care physician shortages (Hayes). All three factors affect women of color because racism and discrimination still exist. I thought that the U.S. wouldn’t be this bad, but after seeing all of the mortality and morbidity rates as well as care for women after, it just shocks me at how developed of a country we are, and we have issues like this. And to be honest, I don’t even know if we could fix this because even if you put laws out to provide for all women, there will still be racism and discrimination within the healthcare. I feel like if we all offered something similar to Medi-Cal, it would have to be a hospital or clinic where all different races/ethnicities are offered one with a familiar background or race. As shallow as it sounds, people of similar race will treat you better than a different race because they share connection and something in common; they are able to understand each other.
Spotlight a local or global non-profit or activist group that is working to improve maternal health in the U.S. (EXCLUDING; Planned Parenthood and Groundswell). What is the name of the organization, its mission, and its services that it provides?
A global non-profit group that is working to improve maternal health in the U.S. is Commonsense Childbirth. Their mission is to ensure access to maternal healthcare particularly for minority, low-income, and uninsured/underinsured women. They claim that they turn no one away regardless as they want to ensure all women have healthy pregnancy. So, I assume they don’t mind a women’s immigration status. They provide prenatal, labor and delivery, and postpartum services. They also offer programs for those who want to become a midwife and other paraprofessional courses in the maternal child health field.
About. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://commonsensechildbirth.org/about/
Hayes, T. O. N., Huddleston, J., & Gray, G. (2019, September 9). Maternal Mortality in the United States. Retrieved from https://www.americanactionforum.org/insight/maternal-mortality-in-the-united-states/
Impact of Obesity on Maternal and Fetal Health. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://faculty.sites.uci.edu/messaoudilab/maternal-obesity/ (PHOTO)