Let their voices be heard: Understanding the barriers to seeking early prenatal care for low-income non-Hispanic Black women
Background: Receipt of early prenatal care, care during the first three months of pregnancy, is the standard in the United States. Sixty percent of non-Hispanic Black women who had a live birth in the Sunnyside community of Houston did not obtain early prenatal care in 2009. This study's aims were to: 1) Describe the barriers to obtaining early prenatal care in non-Hispanic Black women who live in the Sunnyside community of Houston; and, 2) Describe the actions that could encourage non-Hispanic Black women who live in the Sunnyside Community to obtain early prenatal care. The goal was to provide information to organizations that promote early prenatal care use in non-Hispanic Black women in Harris County that may aid in developing interventions. Methods: The Participatory Learning for Action rapid assessment qualitative method was used in a group setting to answer the research questions on behalf of women in the community. Women who participated in the group sessions also participated in an in-depth interview. Key informants who work in the community with pregnant women, or promote the use of prenatal care services, were also interviewed. An inductive analysis of the data was conducted to identify common themes that address the study's aims. Results: Aim 1: Group participants identified fear of the reaction from family and/or the baby's daddy and shame, not having insurance or money, and lack of knowledge of the pregnancy and resources as the top three barriers to early prenatal care for women in the community. Aim 2: Group participants stated that to help women to overcome these barriers, communication, awareness and support; help, resources and services; and information and early education are needed. Participant in-depth interviewees echoed the themes of fear of the reaction from family and/or the baby's daddy and not knowing of the pregnancy. Key informants mentioned these themes as well, though not at the same priority level. Participants and key informants also mentioned similar themes for helping women to overcome barriers to early prenatal care. Conclusion: A comprehensive approach is needed to improve early prenatal care use in the Sunnyside community. Education efforts must include all members of the community, young and old, to promote support for pregnant women. Community members must be a part of the process for developing education campaigns. Engaging the community builds a relationship with organizations that serve the community, which may promote use of the organizations' services, and build trust with the community. All efforts must be ongoing so that women and men of all ages in the community understand the importance of prenatal care and support women obtaining care early in the pregnancy.
Meyer, Stephanie A, "Let their voices be heard: Understanding the barriers to seeking early prenatal care for low-income non-Hispanic Black women" (2012). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3542365.