Educated Black Women in US Must Take Better Care of Their Pregnancy

3 years ago



Bloomberg Businessweek has recently posted the research results which seem quite puzzling. The Fighting at Birth: Eradicating the Black-White Infant Mortality Gap report from the Insight Center and the Cook Center on Social Equity uncovers the main causes of the racial infant mortality gap. According to the findings, highly educated black women are more likely to lose babies due to racism and sexism than highly educated white women.

Despite the connection between socially unacceptable behavior and pregnancy issues may not be evident, the data proves that “stress can lead to premature delivery of low birth-weight babies.” Very often, black women with higher education are the first to work in a specific niche or even elite circles. Researchers believe that facing racism and sexism is a price paid by these women for the access to privileged social standing.

Other Research to Prove the Horrific Correlation

Previously, a series of scientific research has demonstrated the horrible truth. In 2015, the study published in Annals of Behavioral Medicine and the article in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health have touched upon the issue.

The former research looked into the body inflammation markers to discover that “the health ramifications of high anger, or poorly controlled anger, may be stronger in African Americans with more, compared to less, education.”

Turns out, black women don’t get equal protection from higher education and socioeconomic status compared to white women. The “way up” is often stressful, which results in “weathering” and a range of other health effects that are likely to manifest themselves during pregnancy.

The main research findings are as follows:

  • All races have shown the steady decline in Infant mortality rates, but black women “have the same risk as women in New Zealand.”
  • Meanwhile, “black American women have the same risk as women in Romania or Thailand.”
  • The drastic differences remain, even when such factors as poverty, obesity, age of mother, and illegal drug use are considered.

One of the main problems encountered in hospitals is the attitude problem which involves negligence of medical staff. One of the most astounding examples is Serena Williams, who had to insist on a CT scan to check for blood clots after giving birth. The nurse told the famous tennis player that her pain medicine must have been confusing her, but the check proved that Serena was right.

Ways of Fighting the Problem

The researchers believe the only way of coping with the problem of infant mortality is attacking the stress factors - job discrimination, that is. The ‘Fighting at Birth’ report recommendations also include:

  • support for programs and advocacy groups for black mothers;
  • protocols to minimize bias by health-care providers;
  • enforcement of laws against discrimination against black women;
  • increased social support for expectant black women;
  • encouragement of breastfeeding, among other fixes.

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Any questions or propositions?