Current Events in Maternal Health Care: October 2020

Once a month we discuss current events in maternal health care. In this installment, we look at a qualitative study of the experiences of Black women and the intersection of race, gender, and pregnancy. Keep reading for more details! 


Black Pregnant Women “Get the Most Judgment”: A Qualitative Study of the Experiences of Black Women at the Intersection of Race, Gender, and Pregnancy

There are marked racial disparities in maternal and infant health outcomes in the United States. This study was conducted with semistructured interviews with 24 Black pregnant women. Women were asked about their experiences being pregnant and of gendered racism, as well as concerns they had regarding parenting Black children. Trained analysts coded the transcripts of the interviews using grounded theory techniques. From those codes, the authors drew the following conclusions:

  • Gendered racism during pregnancy in the form of stereotypes stigmatized Black motherhood that devalued Black pregnancies
  • Racialized pregnancy stigma may contribute to poorer maternal and infant outcomes by way of:
    • Reduced access to quality health care
    • Impediments to services, resources, and social support
    • Poorer psychological health
  • Interventions to address racialized pregnancy stigma and its adverse consequences include:
    • Anti-bias training for health care and social service providers
    • Screening for racialized pregnancy stigma and providing evidence-based coping strategies
    • Creating pregnancy support groups
    • Developing a broader societal discourse that values Black women and their pregnancies

Read the full study here


Melissa Guevara

Director, BIRTHIFT for Everyone




Previous posts about current events in maternal health care:

May 2020 June 2020 July 2020 August 2020 September 2020


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