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Health disparities she may experience related to her pregnancy, such as the risk for preterm labor and the high rate of infant mortality in low-income women.
Health disparities cause differing health outcomes for different groups of people and can be caused by many issues, including their physical environment, education, economic factors, access to health care, access to healthy and affordable foods, and the community they live within (March of Dimes, 2021). These issues can impact an individual’s health and pregnancy outcome. Having diabetes, lots of stress in her life, low socioeconomic status, working long hours, being of African American descent, and getting pregnant sooner than 18 months after a previous pregnancy puts Martha at an increased risk for preterm labor and premature birth (March of Dimes, 2018). Approximately 14.1% of African American women deliver preterm, 36.1% deliver via c-section, and 14.1% deliver low birth weight babies, which is greater proportionately when compared to non-Hispanic white pregnant women (Raper et al., 2021). These factors make it evident that health disparities can significantly affect pregnancy, and care must be aimed at lowering modifiable disparities.
Furthermore, African American women are three to four times more likely to die of pregnancy-related death than non-Hispanic white women, and they had the fastest rate of increase in maternal deaths between 2007 and 2014 (Howell, 2018). So not only is her baby at an increased risk, but she is also at an increased risk of having unfavorable health outcomes during pregnancy. One factor that contributes to the maternal morbidity risk is that racial and ethnic minority women often deliver in different and lower quality hospitals than non-Hispanic white women (Howell, 2018). Additionally, African American women are less likely to receive first-trimester prenatal care due to factors such as insurance status or availability of transportation (Howell, 2018). Ultimately, patient education and increasing access to affordable and equitable care are vital in overcoming some of these health care disparities to reduce the risks of modifiable health disparities.
Based on question 1. Due to Martha having to work 2 jobs to barely scrape by and having a partner that has been out of work for over a year makes things more stressful at home. There are 3 kids at home under the age of 10 and her live in partner has bene helping to take care of them even though they are not his kids. Now that she is pregnant and trying to work to stressful jobs which requires her to be on her feet all day can affect her ability to bring home an income. This crazy work schedule to make a living has caused her to be erratic in her own health care by missing appointments and not following thru on her own health care needs.
Because income is a significant, well documented determinant of health, the effects of low income and income inequality are reflected in population health. According to Avancena et al., the cause of causes or fundamental cause of health outcomes and incomes shapes the resources at our disposal which in turn increases the disease risks exposed to and the ability to mitigate these risks (2021).
When it comes to relationship discrimination it is more common amongst members of your own race and socioeconomic status that tend to not accept inter race relationships. Age, socioeconomic status, and legal status have been found to influence how likely one is to experience and/or report discriminatory treatment based on race or ethnicity (Lee et al., 2019).
Lastly, lower income women struggle to get the care needed to prevent preterm labor and improve the equality of their pregnancy’s. This is affected by Martha’s lack of time, lack of resources and access. These factors will greatly affect Martha’s ability to obtain and continue the type of care she needs to improve her life and improve her underlying health issues such as hypertension, obesity and diabetes.