“Vedam et al.  found that in British Columbia, women from vulnerable populations (i.e. recent immigrants or refugees, women with a history of incarceration and/or substance use, homelessness or poverty), women with pregnancy complications, those who have birth at hospital (versus home) and women who experienced pressure to have interventions were more likely to score very low on the MOR index, a scale that measures respectful maternity care . Our intersectional analysis underscores that the negative impacts of race and social vulnerability are intertwined and cumulative, that those who are already at risk for the worst outcomes, also experience higher levels of mistreatment. Given that the burden of disparities borne by these populations has shown little improvement in recent decades, understanding the presence of mistreatment in childbirth may aid our efforts to comprehend underlying causes, and inform our efforts to eliminate them.”
More on The Giving Voice to Mothers study: Inequity and mistreatment during pregnancy and childbirth in the United States by Drs. Vedam, Stoll, Taiwo, Rubashkin, Cheyney, Strauss, McLemore, Cadena, Nethery, Rushton, Schummers, Declercq, and the GVtM-US Steering Council via Reproductive Health.
Thank you to UBC Professor Saraswathi Vedam and Birth Place Lab for bringing this topic to the forefront and igniting an extremely important conversation about how women are treated during their pregnancy. The Birth Place Lab, in the Division of Midwifery at the University of British Columbia, facilitates multi-disciplinary and community-based participatory research on high quality maternity health care across birth settings. Learn more at www.birthplacelab.org/mistreatment.
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