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Centers for Disease Control

Study: White and Hispanic Women are happier during pregnancy; Black Women Not

 A new study suggests that Black women of all socioeconomic backgrounds are least likely to be happy about being pregnant, while White and Hispanic women are.  

Hamilton College economics professors Stephen Wu and Paul Hagstron analyzed Centers for Disease Control‘s Behaviorial Risk Factor Surveillance System data of more than 300,000 women between 2005 and 2009.  The survey asked participants if they were pregnant at the time and if so, if they were happy.
Both white and Hispanic women reported boosts in happiness during pregnancy, while the black women did not. This was the case for low, middle and upper income black women. 
 “Something about being a child of color, or having to raise a child of color, increases the risk” of not being as happy, director of the Institute for Research on Women, Gender and Sexuality at Columbia University Alondra Nelson (who wasn’t involved in the study) told Time magazine.
Wu hypothesized the reason for the discrepancy may have to do with the fact that black women lack social and emotional support when pregnant. 
“Both white and Hispanic women reported enjoying more attention and help from their family and community while expecting, while black women actually reported receiving less support,” the Time piece noted.
The reason for the conclusion perhaps is that black women who were married and living with their spouse or partner at the time reported being more happier than those not. 
Finally, Nelson also pointed to “sociological data which suggest that black children, especially black males, are at higher risk than those of other races – of being victims of crime, of being incarcerated, of being discriminated, and of living potentially unhappy lives.”
She added, “that may be a reason to have a more tempered response to raising a black child in this environment.” 
Interesting. What are your thoughts?

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Study: More Fetal Deaths linked to Home Births

Earlier this month, actress Thandie Newton announced that she gave birth to her third child at home. She is among the growingnumber of women opting for home births in the United States in the last decade, according to the Centers for Disease Control.  
A recent study presented at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine’s annual meeting on February 7 stated that patients delivered at home by midwives had a roughly four times higher risk of neonatal deaths than babies delivered in the hospital by midwives. The increased neonatal mortality risk is associated with the location of a planned birth, rather than the credentials of the person delivering the baby, the report noted.
Using CDC data of 14 million linked infant birth and neonatal death,  researchers at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center found the absolute risk of neonatal mortality was 3.2/10,000 births in midwife hospital births, and 12.6/10,000 births in midwife home births, and it further increased in first-time mothers to 21.9/10,000 births in midwife home deliveries. Neonatal mortality was defined as neonatal deaths up to 28 days after delivery.
“This risk further increased to about seven-fold if this was the mother’s first pregnancy, and to about ten-fold in pregnancies beyond 41 weeks,” said Amos Grunebaum, M.D.
Grunebaum and co-author Frank Chervenak, M.D. said that obstetric practitioners have an ethical obligation to disclose the increased absolute and relative risks associated with planned home birth to expectant parents who express an interest in this delivery setting, and to recommend strongly against it.
They suggest that hospitals make their policies more welcoming to mid-wives and create more comfortable birthing environments, to eliminate the need for “unnecessary obstetric interventions”, a release about the study stated. 
Interesting. What are your thoughts on this study and the authors suggestion which seemingly implies hospitals should do more to obviate the need for midwives who will assist in a home birth?

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