Maternity Care and Women’s Health

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Updated: Nov 17, 2022
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Unless a person happens to be a mother, or soon to be a mother, they are made aware of the variety of healthy choices and preventions there is to pregnancy. It is pitiable to admit that socioeconomic status, illness, and race can determine the mortality rate of a mother and her child today, especially in the United States.

Furthermore, it is essential to improve the well-being and care of mothers, as they will set the example of leading healthy lives for the following generation. Factors that create problems in maternal health are differing socioeconomic backgrounds, unplanned pregnancies, improper access to prenatal services, the age of the mother, health of the mother before pregnancy and health of the mother after pregnancy as well as mortality rate associated with their race. Poverty, race, age and income status perform a critical role in influencing the well-being of a mother. 2. Burden of the disease Pregnancy is a lovely moment in a woman’s life that can sadly turn sour if they aren’t capable to receive proper prenatal services and help.

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In the United States, more than 80% of women will become pregnant, and 31% of these women will suffer pregnancy complications, ranging from depression to a C-section delivery (‘Maternal, Infant, and Child Health,’ Healthy People 2020′, 2018). While modern medicine has done wonders to address these issues, the United States mortality rate of pregnancy is 12.7 deaths per 100,000 live births as of 2007 (‘Maternal, Infant, and kid Health,’ Healthy individuals 2020′, 2018). While pregnancy should not be a health problem in women, it can provide expectant mothers the opportunity to identify existing health risks and prevent risks associated with improper care during their pregnancy. Health risks that can be addressed through pregnancy and be prevented are heart disease, diabetes, sexually transmitted diseases, and unhealthy weight. 3. Incidence The incidence of pregnancy complications can range from dealing with high-risk heart disease and unplanned pregnancies. Expecting mothers conscious of their heart disease are at high risk of complications during pregnancy and delivery due to their cardiac issues. Expectant mothers should let their doctor be conscious of their situation before considering having a baby and maintain a closer look at the pregnancy as it progresses.

The article ‘The Pregnant Woman with Heart Disease: Management of Pregnancy and Delivery’ mentions that ‘a risk assessment should be performed in these women,’ and ‘the management of pregnancy and delivery should be planned accordingly’ (2011). The article also mentions it is crucial for the team of doctors to communicate accordingly to prevent complications that can place the mother in danger during delivery. Additionally, unplanned pregnancies have complications of their own. In a perfect world, a woman who finds out she is pregnant is in good health and doing financially well. However, The Office of Women’s Health states that 1 in 2 pregnancies in the United States is unplanned (‘Unplanned pregnancy |’, 2018). Women can find themselves in situations where they are financially unstable to care for a baby, or their lifestyle choices can put the life of the infant in danger. The Office of Women’s Health recommends for women who find themselves in unstable situations to ask for the help of a medical professional to confirm the and to take steps to quit smoking or drinking if that is part of their lifestyle. 4. Prevalence Weight is a major determinant on women’s pregnancy outcomes. Like anything related to weight, women who enter pregnancy at a high or low weight are likely to experience negative health effects during their pregnancy. Their weight may also affect their infant, who will have poor health before and after birth. Because weight affects the outcomes of pregnancy, Healthy People 2020 points out in one of their solutions for maternal health to increase the proportion of women entering pregnancy with normal weight (Sharma, 2018).

Healthy People 2020 also takes into consideration the diversity of races and ethnicities across the United States that may affect the proportion of women entering pregnancy at a healthy weight. 5. Case Fatality Pregnancies can carry a fair share of complications, during the prenatal stages of pregnancy to having a difficult delivery. It is sad to admit, however, that race can determine if a mother gets to survive those complications during her pregnancy. The article ‘The Black–White Disparity in Pregnancy-Related Mortality From 5 Conditions: Differences in Prevalence and Case-Fatality Rates’ studied the case fatality of black and white women affected by ‘preeclampsia, eclampsia, abruptio placentae, placenta previa, and postpartum hemorrhage’ (Berg, Callaghan, Hsia, Tucker 2007). The study concluded that black women were three times likely to die. Than their white counterparts if they suffered these conditions. The article also discussed that black women were less likely to partake on prenatal care during the first trimester of the pregnancy and were susceptible to the suffering of preexisting conditions. An Institute of Medicine report also discovered that minority patients receive. Lower quality of care compared to white people regarding their medical problems (Berg, Callaghan, Hsia, Tucker 2007).

The race of the patient is a determinant of case fatalities in pregnancies, and research is still being conducted to avoid it being an influence in pregnancy mortality rates. 6. Two at Risk Groups Women over the age of 35: Women over the age of 35 are inclined to have a much more difficult pregnancy than their younger counterparts. They are prone to have conditions like high blood pressure. Diabetes or cardiovascular disease that can complicate the progress of the pregnancy. These conditions can contribute to miscarriage. Poor fetal growth, and birth defects (Stickler & Seladi-Schulman, 2018). Women who have STI (Sexually Transmitted Infections): Expectant mothers who have an STI (or STD) are likely to transmit the infection to their baby. Sexually Transmitted Infections pose a dangerous risk to both mother and child, as the mother can expose the baby to life-threatening illnesses like HIV and meningitis. Sexually Transmitted Infections also run the risk of complicating the mother’s pregnancy. Tracy Stickler and Jill Seladi-Schulman, Ph.D. says. That untreated Sexually Transmitted Infections can lead to ‘miscarriage, premature birth, and low birth weight’ (Stickler & Seladi-Schulman, 2018).

In both cases, doctors should closely monitor their patients and ensure that the pregnancy is not jeopardizing the health of the mother and child. Older women are prone to dealing with cardiac issues, whereas a woman with an STI has the likelihood of losing her infant. 7. Interventions • Concerning the subject of healthy weight, doctors and expectant mothers should work together to create a pregnancy meal plan that meets the nutritional needs of the mother. Underweight and overweight women are prone to putting the life of their infant and themselves at risk if they don’t act to lower their weight.

• Regarding the subject of unplanned pregnancies, women who smoke and drink alcohol put their pregnancy at risk. These behaviors can lead to unusual health issues to the infant and themselves. Providing easy to access prenatal care for women who encounter themselves in these conflicting situations should be made aware of the effects their poor lifestyle choices make and begin to take their health seriously.

• Women who are dealing with cardiac illnesses should be kept at their health providers list of close monitoring. Pregnancy already places stress on the woman’s body, and doctors should monitor the pregnancy to ensure neither the baby of the mother run the chance of getting hurt.

• If a woman suspects she is pregnant and may also have Sexually Transmitted Infections, medical centers should offer screenings and assessments for both conditions.

Doctors will be able to catch the Sexually Transmitted Infection on time and be able to offer help to the expectant mother. Doctors will also make her aware of the risks associated with being pregnant and carrying a child to term with Sexually Transmitted Infections.

• Doctors should be made aware of the racism women of different ethnic backgrounds deal with during their pregnancy. They should consider that women of various race/ethnicities will have differing pregnancies and to not misjudge their symptoms based on prejudice. Race should not be a determining factor of whether a mother leads a healthy pregnancy or not.

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Maternity Care and Women's Health. (2022, Nov 17). Retrieved from