Discuss disparities related to ethnic and cultural groups relative to low-birth-weight infants and preterm births. Describe the impact of extremely low-birth-weight babies on family and society (short and long term, including economic considerations, ongoing care considerations, and comorbidities associated with prematurity). Discuss whether you feel that support services and systems in your community for preterm infants and their families adequately address their needs or not. Explain your answer. Respond to other learners' posts in a manner that initiates or contributes to discussion.
Low birth weight and preterm births remain the most significant contributors of infant mortality and morbidity in the U.S. (Xiong, Pridjian, & Dickey, 2013). According to Sparks (2009), the percentage of preterm births varies greatly among different ethnic and racial groups. This often relates to the socioeconomic status of the parents, sociodemographic profile, or behaviors during pregnancy, all of which very among cultures “in a manner that might explain the racial/ethnic variation in preterm births” (Sparks, 2009, p. 1668). Sparks (2009) further states, “there is a need to better understand the existence and possible explanations” (p. 1667) for the racial and ethnic disparities because of the effect they have on early childhood outcomes such as poor health, development, and educational issues. One of the characteristics that likely leads to cultural disparities in preterm births relates to maternal health status before and during pregnancy (Sparks, 2009). For example, research evidence suggests, “African American women are more likely than white women to experience a number of infections, including bacterial vaginosis and sexually transmitted infections” (Behrman & Butler, 2007, p. 132), which, according to Behrman & Butler (2007), may be a significant factor leading to cultural disparities. Proper diagnosis and treatment of these conditions may also vary among different...
References: Behrman, R. E. & Butler, A. S. (2007). Preterm birth: Causes, consequences, and prevention.
P. J. Sparks (2009). Do biological, sociodemographic, and behavioral characteristics explain racial/ethnic
disparities in preterm births?
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