THE RESEARCH QUESTIONS

EMBRACE aims to provide women and providers information about which type of enhanced prenatal care improves preterm birth rates, maternal mental health outcomes, and satisfaction with care so they may make informed decisions.

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PRETERM BIRTH

EMBRACE is comparing the number of preterm births that women receiving group prenatal care Experience to the number experienced by women in individual prenatal care.

 

A preterm birth is one that occurs before 37 weeks of gestation.  In Fresno County 1 in 11 babies is born early!  This is higher than the national and state averages. Preterm birth is associated with infant mortality and can lead to long-term consequences for the infant's health. A family with a preterm infant also may face social and economic consequences.  You can read more about Fresno County birth outcomes here

 

Preterm birth disproportionately affects women of color with rates of  14.7% in American Indian/Alaska Native infants and 13.5% in African-American/Black infants in Fresno County.

Other risk factors for preterm birth include maternal age, stress, socioeconomic status, and previous preterm birth. 
 

High rates of preterm birth is a public health problem, read more about it here

MATERNAL MENTAL HEALTH

EMBRACE is measuring if there is a change in depression and anxiety symptoms women experience during pregnancy compared to the postpartum period.  The Study also measures women's stress and social support.  

 

Stress during pregnancy is connected to poor outcomes and often linked to mental health concerns.

 

Many women experience anxiety and depression during pregnancy, it is not just limited to the postpartum time period. You can read more about it here.

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EXPERIENCES OF CARE

EMBRACE will measure the perception of respectful care and satisfaction with prenatal care. The study will also include in-depth interviews with Black and Latina participants to further explore the experiences of care including racial and ethnic discrimination. 

 

You can read more about how racism impacts health care and maternal and infant health here.

EFFECTS OF COVID-19 ON PREGNANCY EXPERIENCES

COVID-19 has caused significant disruptions in the daily lives and prenatal care of women. EMBRACE is assessing how prenatal care has changed as a result of COVID-19; what increased or new stressors women face during or after pregnancy as a result of COVID-19; EMBRACE will also ask how social and physical distancing has affected mental health, social support, and experiences of care.

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