Without Money, Means, or Men: African American Women Receiving Prenatal Care in a Housing Project

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Abstract

This study explored the experiences and context of pregnant African American women who accessed prenatal care at a clinic located within a public housing project. Access to prenatal care remains a problem for poor African American women who risk higher rates of low birthweight babies as well as increased morbidity and mortality. Qualitative interviews were used to collect and analyze data from 13 women who lived in the project. Convenience of care was the major factor that contributed to regular attendance at the prenatal clinic. However, women were preoccupied with their day-to-day living situation, which included violence, crime, instability, and a lack of financial resources. Women in this study led complex lives, and traditional ways of viewing pregnant women do not encompass that complexity or the contextual factors that give rise to the complexity of lives of women in the study.

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