Black Infant Mortality Essay Example

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Black Infant Mortality

Black Infant Mortality: Introduction

In today’s world, equality has become a major concern, especially in multinational countries such as the U.S. and the U.K. That is, these countries are populated by individuals with different cultural and ethnic backgrounds, and authorities should keep up with the equality in opportunity in terms of education, civil rights, and especially healthcare. In this essay, black infant mortality has been analyzed, and a few recommendations have been made. According to CNN Health, “black newborns are more likely to die when looked after by white doctors,” (Picheta, 2020), or according to US News article, “black babies face double the risk of dying before their first birthday” (“US News,” 2019, Title). As can be explicitly seen, black infant mortality is a major concern in today’s media agenda and among black communities.

Body Paragraphs

Although the overall infant mortality of newborn rate has been drastically decreased in the previous decades, some of the disparities continue to affect some groups. Drastically, “the infant mortality rate for black women’s babies was 10.97 in 2017 –more than twice the rates among white, Asian, and Hispanic women, who saw rates of 4.67, 3.78, and 5.1, respectively” (“US News,” 2019, para. 2). In this direction, one can readily highlight the extreme difference between black infant mortality and other infants of different ethnic backgrounds. Subsequently, one can argue that this difference may result from the socioeconomic differences between groups. That is, the relationship between the accession to decent healthcare and socioeconomic well-being is not negligible. As the United States healthcare system is highly dependent on economic well-being, the correlation seems to be explicit.

The Relationship Between the Healthcare System and Stressors for Black Women

When compared to previous ages, the world has vastly changed regarding the individuals’ expectations, and order and structure of society. More specifically, the drastic shift in society, which was then followed by social media, has created anxiety and stressors for many individuals across the world. According to Davis et al. (2018), although stress in the short term is necessary for survival instinct and boosted performance during crisis or excitement, the stress in the long term has drastic negative consequences for the human body. That is, in other words, our bodies are not designed to stand for long term stress, and exposure to long term stress can create psychosomatic diseases for many, especially women (Maunder et al., 2001). Furthermore, many findings infer that stress is a significant factor, “contributing to the reproductive disparities of African American women” (“Stress and Pregnancy,” 2019).

African American tend to have more chronic stress when compared with white women because discrimination and decreased socioeconomic status are known to trigger core stressors. In this direction, Giurgescu & Carmen et al. (2013) highlighted that “racial discrimination and negative aspects of the environment may increase stress during pregnancy”. Also, there is a strong correlation between negative health consequences and psychological disorders, depression, and adverse birth outcomes. Furthermore, one can stress that interpersonal resources, changes in the job, alcohol and drug issues, socioeconomic difficulties, and partner issues are among the core stressors for African American women, according to Giurgescu & Carmen (2013). However, although there seem to be many adverse factors affecting the black women and infant during pregnancy, healthcare and social support can be quite helpful when combatting against the high rate of black infant mortality. Thus, authorities in both local and central level should come up with new regulations that may contribute to the coping of black infant mortality due to socioeconomic factors.

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Figure 1. Infant Death Rates by Race, 2017.

Chronic Stress and Its Impacts on Birth

Unbalanced cortisol levels are seen as a result of chronic stress. That is, a healthy cortisol level is highly effective when combatting against bodily inflammation which affects the reproductive organs and functionality. Also, one can claim the correlation between physiological and psychological stress responses. In this direction, “these conditions may change the function and structure of the cervical collagen that leads to premature remodelling” (CITE). However, “alterations in immune functions (unbalanced cytokines and cortisol levels) and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis during the pregnancy put African American women at risk for preterm birth” (Currie et al., 2012). In this sense, one can further claim that chronic stress due to socioeconomic status and other factors have an impact on African American women and black babies. In this sense, state, local, and federal organs should concentrate on the black infant mortality and chronic stressors for African American women because these women do not often get psychological assistance due to financial costs resulted from the healthcare system.

Recommendations for Authorities

Psychological and sociological assistance. Arguably, chronic stress for African American women, in general, stems from poverty and racial discrimination. In this sense, authorities should implement convenient policies to combat black infant mortality. Firstly, authorities should understand the nature of stressors for African American women, and these women should be financially and psychologically supported in a local and nationwide level. Furthermore, the costs of healthcare for this risk group should be decreased so that an enhanced accession to healthcare services is ensured. In this direction, local and nationwide combat against racism is necessary by implementing compulsory local TV and radio ads for black infant mortality to create awareness among society.

Accession to healthcare. Unlike the German Bismarck or British, or even any other European healthcare model, the U.S. healthcare system is highly dependent on financial welfare. More specifically, not every citizen is naturally covered by the government-back social security program, although there have been many attempts to overcome the issue, such as Obamacare. When considered the fact that there is an income gap between white and black individuals in American society, one can readily understand the correlation between income and black infant mortality. That is, the more income the family has, the better healthcare or birth care the family gets. Authorities should change the backbone of the system and apply the Bismarck model in the U.S. As long as the majority of the population is dependent on the private health institutions which seem to value for income in general, correlated issues such as infant mortality-income levels are not likely to be overcome.

Nationwide PR. Relevant statistics and sociocultural research has shown us that there is a strong correlation between socioeconomic conditions, major stressors such as racism, and infant mortalities in minority populations. Since socioeconomic precaution alone will not provide an utmost and certain solution in the long term, local and national authorities should come up with measures and advertising campaigns in order to shift society’s approach and create awareness. More specifically, and arguably, publishing and supporting ads and documentaries that explain the black infant mortality is likely to create awareness among healthcare professionals. The drastic awareness is likely to provide more motivation for such workers, as opposed to the US News article, as mentioned earlier.

Direct financial support. Local and national authorities should consider implementing support programs for black mothers because the problem both occurs pre-birth and within the first year upon birth. The second factor highlights the correlation between financial drawbacks and healthcare of black infants. Therefore, risk groups according to the financial condition, educational background, and socioeconomic factors should be defined to create a target-support group in order to decrease the rate of black infant mortality due to economic difficulties.

Black Infant Mortality: Conclusion

In conclusion, this assignment has concentrated on the black infant mortality, the relationship between the healthcare system and stressors for black women, chronic stress and its impacts on birth, and recommendations for authorities psychological and sociological assistance, accession to healthcare, nationwide PR, and direct financial support. In this sense, one can readily highlight the extreme difference between black infant mortality and other infants of different ethnic backgrounds. Upon analysis and listing certain statistics to highlight the correlation, I strongly recommend that authorities should create policies to decrease the black infant mortality rate.

References

Currie, Janet, & Maya Rossin-Slater. (2012). “Weathering the Storm: Hurricanes and Birth Outcomes.”

Davis, Jeff, & Kristen Damron. (2018) “Stress and Stress Hormones.” Oxford Handbooks Online.

Giurgescu, Carmen, et al. (2013). “Stressors, Resources, and Stress Responses in Pregnant African American Women.” The Journal of Perinatal & Neonatal Nursing, vol. 27, no. 1, pp. 81–96.

Maunder, Robert G., & Jonathan J. Hunter. (2001) “Attachment and Psychosomatic Medicine: Developmental Contributions to Stress and Disease.” Psychosomatic Medicine, vol. 63, no. 4, pp. 556–567.

Picheta, R. (2020, August 20). Black newborns 3 times more likely to die when looked after by white doctors. CNN.

“Stress and Pregnancy.” (2019). Pregnancy Birth and Baby.

US News. (2018). Black Babies Face Double the Risk of Dying Before Their First Birthday.

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Pelin Dalkiran
Pelin Dalkiran
Studied Maths and Coding @DEU, currently working as Front End Lead at Tamara Research, loves writing, coding, and hiking.

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