delivery, prenatal care

Black Urban Prenatal Care Lags Whites


Fewer African-American women get adequate prenatal care in urban areas than their white counterparts reports a new study out of Howard University that was published in Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved.

If a woman began prenatal visits by her fourth month of pregnancy and made at least 80 percent of the expected visits is considered to have received adequate care. Care was deemed inadequate if it started after the fourth month or if the woman made less than 50 percent of the visits.

Researchers interviewed 246 African-American women during their postpartum hospitalization in Washington, D.C., in 1996 and 1997. They asked women when they began prenatal care visits, how often they kept appointments and what stopped them from keeping appointments.
Of the 246 women, 99 (40 percent) were considered to have “adequate” prenatal care use and 147 (60 percent) had “inadequate” use.

African-American women who received the best prenatal care were found to be between 20-29, were enrolled in WIC, and did not do drugs, drink alcohol, or smoke.

To make sure you receive the best prenatal care start going to an obstetrician as soon as you know you are pregnant. The earlier you begin seeing a doctor, the better chance you will deliver a healthy baby and have a smooth delivery.

For further reading:

The Mocha Manual to a Fabulous Pregnancy

Your Pregnancy Quick Guide: Women of Color (Your Pregnancy)

Having Your Baby

Mama’s Little Baby: The Black Woman’s Guide to Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Baby’s First Year

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