Abstract

Objectives: In the United States, significant ethnic and racial health and healthcare disparities exist among our most vulnerable populations, new mothers and newborns. We sought to determine disparities in socioeconomic status, perinatal health, and perinatal healthcare for black mothers and their newborns cared for in well-baby nurseries compared with white mother/baby pairs in Pennsylvania. Methods: A retrospective analysis of a merged data set containing birth and clinical discharge records was conducted. Perinatal data from 44,105 black mothers and their singleton newborns, ≥35 weeks gestational age cared for in Pennsylvania well-baby nurseries from 1998-2002 were compared with 88,210 white mother/baby pairs. Results: Black mothers were younger and were much more likely to receive Medicaid or be uninsured compared with white mothers. They were less likely to be college-educated, married, or have prenatal care beginning in the first trimester. Infants born to black mothers were less likely to be delivered via Cesarean section, but were more likely to be born between 35 and 38 weeks gestation and be of low birth weight. Conclusions: Numerous significant disparities exist for black mothers and their newborns cared for in well-baby nurseries in Pennsylvania. Since most newborns are cared for in this setting as opposed to intensive care environments, recognition of the differences that exist for this group when compared to well newborns of white mothers can help to improve healthcare and its delivery to this population. Federal and local initiatives must continue efforts to eliminate racial disparities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)452-460
Number of pages9
JournalMaternal and child health journal
Volume12
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2008

Fingerprint

Mothers
Newborn Infant
Nurseries
Healthcare Disparities
Delivery of Health Care
Prenatal Care
Medicaid
Health
Low Birth Weight Infant
Vulnerable Populations
First Pregnancy Trimester
Critical Care
Social Class
Cesarean Section
Gestational Age
Parturition
Pregnancy
Population

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Epidemiology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

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title = "Perinatal disparities for black mothers and their newborns",
abstract = "Objectives: In the United States, significant ethnic and racial health and healthcare disparities exist among our most vulnerable populations, new mothers and newborns. We sought to determine disparities in socioeconomic status, perinatal health, and perinatal healthcare for black mothers and their newborns cared for in well-baby nurseries compared with white mother/baby pairs in Pennsylvania. Methods: A retrospective analysis of a merged data set containing birth and clinical discharge records was conducted. Perinatal data from 44,105 black mothers and their singleton newborns, ≥35 weeks gestational age cared for in Pennsylvania well-baby nurseries from 1998-2002 were compared with 88,210 white mother/baby pairs. Results: Black mothers were younger and were much more likely to receive Medicaid or be uninsured compared with white mothers. They were less likely to be college-educated, married, or have prenatal care beginning in the first trimester. Infants born to black mothers were less likely to be delivered via Cesarean section, but were more likely to be born between 35 and 38 weeks gestation and be of low birth weight. Conclusions: Numerous significant disparities exist for black mothers and their newborns cared for in well-baby nurseries in Pennsylvania. Since most newborns are cared for in this setting as opposed to intensive care environments, recognition of the differences that exist for this group when compared to well newborns of white mothers can help to improve healthcare and its delivery to this population. Federal and local initiatives must continue efforts to eliminate racial disparities.",
author = "Ian Paul and Lehman, {Erik B.} and Alawia Suliman and Hillemeier, {Marianne Messersmith}",
year = "2008",
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Perinatal disparities for black mothers and their newborns. / Paul, Ian; Lehman, Erik B.; Suliman, Alawia; Hillemeier, Marianne Messersmith.

In: Maternal and child health journal, Vol. 12, No. 4, 01.07.2008, p. 452-460.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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