[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study aimed to identify actual and perceived barriers to postpartum care among a probability sample of women who gave birth in Los Angeles County, California in 2007. Survey data from the 2007 Los Angeles Mommy and Baby (LAMB) study (N = 4,075) were used to identify predictors and barriers to postpartum care use. The LAMB study was a cross-sectional, population-based study that examined maternal and child health outcomes during the preconception, prenatal, and postpartum periods. Multivariable analyses identified low income, being separated/divorced and never married, trying hard to get pregnant or trying to prevent pregnancy, Medi-Cal insurance holders, and lack of prenatal care to be risk factors of postpartum care nonuse, while Hispanic ethnicity was protective. The most commonly reported barriers to postpartum care use were feeling fine, being too busy with the baby, having other things going on, and a lack of need. Findings from this study can inform the development of interventions targeting subgroups at risk for not obtaining postpartum care. Community education and improved access to care can further increase the acceptability of postpartum visits and contribute to improvements in women's health. Postpartum care can serve as a gateway to engage underserved populations in the continuum of women's health care.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This randomised controlled pilot trial tested a six-week mindfulness-based intervention in a sample of pregnant women experiencing high levels of perceived stress and pregnancy anxiety. Forty-seven women enrolled between 10 and 25 weeks gestation were randomly assigned to either a series of weekly Mindful Awareness Practices classes (n = 24) with home practice or to a reading control condition (n = 23). Hierarchical linear models of between-group differences in change over time demonstrated that participants in the mindfulness intervention experienced larger decreases from pre-to post-intervention in pregnancy-specific anxiety and pregnancy-related anxiety (PRA) than participants in the reading control condition. However, these effects were not sustained through follow-up at six weeks post-intervention. Participants in both groups experienced increased mindfulness, as well as decreased perceived stress and state anxiety over the course of the intervention and follow-up periods. This study is one of the first randomised controlled pilot trials of a mindfulness meditation intervention during pregnancy and provides some evidence that mindfulness training during pregnancy may effectively reduce PRA and worry. We discuss some of the dilemmas in pursuing this translational strategy and offer suggestions for researchers interested in conducting mind-body interventions during pregnancy.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The objectives of this study were to determine if racial and ethnic differences in personal capital during pregnancy exist and to estimate the extent to which any identified racial and ethnic differences in personal capital are related to differences in maternal sociodemographic and acculturation characteristics. Data are from the 2007 Los Angeles Mommy and Baby study (n = 3,716). Personal capital comprised internal resources (self-esteem and mastery) and social resources (partner, social network, and neighborhood support) during pregnancy. The relationships between race/ethnicity and personal capital were assessed using multivariable generalized linear models, examining the impact of sociodemographic and acculturation factors on these relationships. Significant racial and ethnic disparities in personal capital during pregnancy exist. However, socioeconomic status (i.e., income and education) and marital status completely explained Black-White disparities and Hispanic-White disparities in personal capital, whereas acculturation factors, especially nativity and language spoken at home, partially mediated the disparities in personal capital between Asian/Pacific Islander women and White women. Findings suggest that the risks associated with low socioeconomic status, single motherhood, and low acculturation, rather than race or ethnicity, contribute to low personal capital for many pregnant women. As personal capital during pregnancy may influence subsequent maternal and child health outcomes, the development of interventions should consider addressing sociodemographic and acculturation factors in order to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in personal capital and ultimately in poor maternal and child health outcomes.
Maternal and Child Health Journal 03/2013; · 2.24 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Many Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Patient Safety Indicators (PSIs) partially or completely exclude pregnant women. Both postoperative hemorrhage or hematoma (PSI 9; hemorrhage), and Postoperative Sepsis (PSI 13; infection) appear to be adaptable to pregnancy hospitalizations.
Using the 2009 California Patient Discharge Dataset (N [total] = 508,842), the hemorrhage and infection PSIs were examined for their potential to include pregnant women in gynecological, antepartum, postpartum, and delivery subpopulations. The statewide and hospital-level indicator rates were calculated using hierarchical models adjusted for case mix.
Only the delivery population had sufficient cases for hospital-level analysis. Both PSIs required major changes to the technical specifications because of pregnancy-specific codes and coding practices. Nevertheless, these revised indicators identified substantial morbidity that varied widely across hospitals. The hemorrhage indicator rate was 2.50% (95% confidence interval [CI], 2.45-2.54) for all deliveries, compared with 0.26% (95% CI, 0.25-0.27) in the AHRQ population and 0.18% (95% CI, 0.15-0.21) for nonpregnant women of reproductive age. Adjusted hospital rates averaged 2.52%, with a midquartile range of 1.16% to 3.09% Although infection rates were lower for all deliveries than for the AHRQ population (0.18% versus 1.20%), they were highly associated with cesarean versus vaginal birth (0.43% versus 0.05%) and ranged from 0% to 1.15% across hospitals.
Although codes and coding practices for pregnancy hospitalizations differ from those used for nonpregnant adults, hospital-level measures of childbirth-associated hemorrhage and infection are feasible, vary widely, and demonstrate considerable opportunity for improvement.
Joint Commission journal on quality and patient safety / Joint Commission Resources 03/2013; 39(3):114-22.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: We propose a methodology for identifying and analysing 'elective' preterm births (PTBs) using administrative data, and apply this methodology to California data with the objective of providing a framework to further explore the potential rationales for early delivery. METHODS: Using the California linked birth cohorts for 1999, 2002 and 2005, singleton PTBs were identified using birth certificate gestational age ≥ 24 and <37 weeks. Through a hierarchical scheme that first removed cases with standard or 'hard' indications for early delivery (e.g. severe preeclampsia, placenta previa), cases of 'elective' PTB were identified with coding for medical intervention, that is, elective caesarean or labour induction. We calculated rates of elective PTB, with subanalyses of early (<34 weeks of gestational age) and late PTB (34 to <37 weeks of gestational age) using hierarchical logistic regression models. RESULTS: Of 1 387 565 singleton deliveries, 99 614 (7.2%) were preterm. Elective PTBs increased 27.7% over the 6-year study period, with nearly all cases confined to the late PTB stratum; elective late PTB rates rose from 10.5% to 13.5% of all late PTBs (P < 0.0001). Indications for delivery in this Elective Group ('soft indications') included prior pelvic floor repair, mental health conditions, fetal anomalies, malpresentation and oligohydramnios. Six per cent of patients with a late PTB had a medical intervention with no hard or soft indication for delivery. CONCLUSIONS: Using administrative data, we developed a method for identifying and trending the proportion of PTBs that is 'elective'. This method can be used to explore and monitor potential strategies for the prevention of elective PTB.
Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology 01/2013; 27(1):44-53. · 2.16 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Preterm birth represents the most significant problem in maternal-child health, with maternal stress identified as a variable of interest. The effects of maternal stress on risk of preterm birth may vary as a function of context. This article focuses on select key issues and questions highlighting the need to develop a better understanding of which particular subgroups of pregnant women may be especially vulnerable to the potentially detrimental effects of maternal stress, and under what circumstances and at which stages of gestation. Issues related to the characterization and assessment of maternal stress and candidate biologic mechanisms are addressed.
Clinics in perinatology 09/2011; 38(3):351-84. · 1.54 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Abstract For morethan two decades, prenatal care has been a cornerstone of our nation?s strategy for preventing low birthweight
(LBW). The enrollment of all pregnant women in prenatal care was promoted by the seminal 1985 Institute of Medicine report
Preventing Low Birthweight (IOM, 1985a), following a comprehensive review of the literature by a select IOM committee on the effectiveness of prenatal
care for preventing LBW. Because LBW contributes significantly to racial-ethnic disparities in infant mortality and morbidity,
increasing access to prenatal care for all women has also become established as the key population-based public health intervention
to address racial-ethnic disparities in perinatal outcomes. The purpose of this chapter is to review evidence on the overall
effectiveness of prenatal care in preventing LBW and reducing racial-ethnic disparities in LBW.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study examined what innovative strategies, including the use of health information technology (health IT), have been or can be used to reduce disparities in prenatal care quality in underresourced settings. Based on literature review and key informant interviews, the authors identified 17 strategies that have been or can be used to (a) increase access to timely prenatal care, (b) improve the content of prenatal care, and (c) enhance the organization and delivery of prenatal care. Health IT can be used to (a) increase consumer awareness about the importance of preconception and early prenatal care, facilitate spatial mapping of access gaps, and improve continuity of patient records; (b) support collaborative quality improvement, facilitate performance measurement, enhance health promotion, assist with care coordination, reduce clinical errors, improve delivery of preventive health services, provide decision support, and encourage completeness of documentation; and (c) support data integration and engineer collaborative innovation.
Medical Care Research and Review 10/2010; 67(5 Suppl):198S-230S. · 3.01 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The United States spends more on perinatal healthcare than any other nation, yet it consistently ranks near the bottom on most standard measures of perinatal health. This article examines how we can do better, based on the life course perspective and the ecological model. Collectively, these paradigms suggest the need for an expanded approach to improving perinatal health in America, one that emphasizes not only risk reduction during pregnancy but also health promotion and optimization across the life course. The approach needs to be both clinical and population based, addressing individual factors as well as social determinants. This article concludes with recommendations for increasing healthcare access, improving healthcare quality, investing in wellness, strengthening families and communities, and supporting research in perinatal health.
Journal of Women s Health 02/2010; 19(3):569-74. · 1.42 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In the United States, Black infants have significantly worse birth outcomes than White infants. Over the past decades, public health efforts to address these disparities have focused primarily on increasing access to prenatal care, however, this has not led to closing the gap in birth outcomes. We propose a 12-point plan to reduce Black-White disparities in birth outcomes using a life-course approach. The first four points (increase access to interconception care, preconception care, quality prenatal care, and healthcare throughout the life course) address the needs of African American women for quality healthcare across the lifespan. The next four points (strengthen father involvement, systems integration, reproductive social capital, and community building) go beyond individual-level interventions to address enhancing family and community systems that may influence the health of pregnant women, families, and communities. The last four points (close the education gap, reduce poverty, support working mothers, and undo racism) move beyond the biomedical model to address the social and economic inequities that underlie much of health disparities. Closing the Black-White gap in birth outcomes requires a life course approach which addresses both early life disadvantages and cumulative allostatic load over the life course.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To: 1) review the historical contexts and current profiles of father involvement in African American families; 2) identify barriers to, and supports of, involvement; 3) evaluate the effectiveness of father involvement programs; and 4) recommend directions for future research, programs, and public policies.
Review of observational and interventional studies on father involvement.
Several historical developments (slavery, declining employment for Black men and increasing workforce participation for Black women, and welfare policies that favored single mothers) led to father absence from African American families. Today, more than two thirds of Black infants are born to unmarried mothers. Even if unmarried fathers are actively involved initially, their involvement over time declines. We identified multiple barriers to, and supports of, father involvement at multiple levels. These levels include intrapersonal (eg, human capital, attitudes and beliefs about parenting), interpersonal (eg, the father's relationships with the mother and maternal grandmother), neighborhoods and communities (eg, high unemployment and incarceration rates), cultural or societal (eg, popular cultural perceptions of Black fathers as expendable and irresponsible, racial stratification and institutionalized racism), policy (eg, Earned Income Tax Credit, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, child support enforcement), and life-course factors (eg, father involvement by the father's father). We found strong evidence of success for several intervention programs (eg, Reducing the Risk, Teen Outreach Program, and Children's Aid Society - Carrera Program) designed to prevent formation of father-absent families, but less is known about the effectiveness of programs to encourage greater father involvement because of a lack of rigorous research design and evaluation for most programs.
A multi-level, life-course approach is needed to strengthen the capacity of African American men to promote greater involvement in pregnancy and parenting as they become fathers.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This article describes the development of an innovative community-based program, One Hundred Intentional Acts of Kindness toward a Pregnant Woman (100 Acts), which seeks to increase reproductive social capital for pregnant women in south and central Los Angeles communities. Reproductive social capital includes features such as networks, norms, and social trust that facilitate optimal reproductive health within a community. 100 Acts was designed and developed by the Healthy African American Families project, using community participatory methods, to increase local community and social network support for pregnant women. Dialog groups with pregnant women identified specific actions that families, friends, and strangers might do to support pregnancies. Participants primarily wanted emotional and instrumental support from family and friends. From strangers, they wanted respect for personal space and common courtesy. Based on these results, the 100 Acts was created for use in the Los Angeles community. 100 Acts encourages and engages active participation from community members in promoting healthy pregnancies. By seeking to increase community-level reproductive social capital, 100 Acts shifts the provision of social support during pregnancy from a high-risk approach to a population approach. 100 Acts also establishes new social norms about how pregnant women are valued, treated and respected.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To examine the relationship between prolonged second stage and postpartum hemorrhage (PPH).
We conducted a retrospective case-control study of all cases of PPH which occurred at four Southern California hospitals in 2003. Cases were identified by ICD-9 codes and confirmed by chart reviews, and non-cases were randomly selected as controls. The relationship between PPH and prolonged second-stage was examined using bivariate and multivariate analyses.
The sample consisted of 91 cases and 323 controls. Cases were significantly more likely than controls to have had a prolonged second stage of labor, over a range of definitions for PPH and prolonged second stage. In multivariable analyses, prolonged second stage was associated with greater than three-fold (OR = 3.35; 95% CI 1.22-9.19) increased risk for PPH.
Prolonged second stage is an important risk factor for PPH. Close supervision is warranted for women with a prolonged second stage.
The journal of maternal-fetal & neonatal medicine: the official journal of the European Association of Perinatal Medicine, the Federation of Asia and Oceania Perinatal Societies, the International Society of Perinatal Obstetricians 04/2009; 22(3):227-32. · 1.36 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This article reviews the medical conditions that are associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes for women and their offspring. We also present the degree to which specific preconception interventions and treatments can impact the effects of the condition on birth outcomes. Because avoiding, delaying, or achieving optimal timing of a pregnancy is often an important component of the preconception care of women with medical conditions, contraceptive considerations particular to the medical conditions are also presented.
American journal of obstetrics and gynecology 01/2009; 199(6 Suppl 2):S310-27. · 3.28 Impact Factor