Racial disparities in maternal healthcare are a persistent problem in the United States. African American mothers experience higher adverse pregnancy outcomes and are less likely to obtain sufficient prenatal care when compared to Caucasian women. Similarly, racial disparities among women of color are made worse by partialities in the healthcare that they receive. To mitigate racial disparities in maternal health among minority women it is important to understand the determinants that contribute to their health outcomes. With increased federal funding, programs can be geared towards providing quality care to women of color. This can be established by utilizing specific methods of care that are relatable to those being serviced in the community, providing them with medical professionals that are culturally competent and adequately trained in servicing underserved communities, fostering a trusting provider-patient relationship. Nichols and Cohen suggest that funding should be used to address the social factors that influence maternal health to reduce the psychosocial risks in women who may be more vulnerable to adverse pregnancy outcomes. The pregnancy-related risks of a mother do not end after her child’s birth. The expansion of Medicaid access and coverage would provide a mother with the means of receiving adequate care during all stages of pregnancy and during the postpartum period, in which she can still be adversely affected from her pregnancy. It is vital for the federal government to enact policies requiring states to provide medical coverage to women for one year after the birth of their child. Providing coverage to various specialties would ensure the mother has efficient access to care should adverse symptoms develop. Nichols and Cohen postulated that state programs should expand Medicaid coverage for women focusing on their healthcare needs before, during and after pregnancy, paying close attention to women’s health and chronic disease management, especially to those who have or had high risk pregnancies. Implementing these programs would develop a foundation in the quality of racial maternal care across all states and provide cohesion and uniformity in the delivery of care.
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