Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Wonderment Wednesday: Pregnancy Research

In one of the more interesting election cycles in recent memory, the results from the Iowa caucuses have come in. Based on multiple reports, these are the closest results that Iowa has ever head. 6 precincts decided by a coin toss! This only means that this election cycle is pregnant with possibilities. With just 9 months left, after a long and tenuous process, our nation will decide a new president.

But why all these analogies to pregnancy you ask? Obviously, it is a thinly veiled attempt to transition to our topic today:

4 Findings of Pregnancy Research

Rural pregnant women are more likely to gain weight than urban women
It is known that unhealthy prepregnancy weight and gaining weight during pregnancy has been shown to increase the risk of a poor pregnancy and birth outcomes. Therefore, Alexa Gallagher, PhD, looked into whether or not mothers in rural areas were more likely to be at an unhealthy weight at pregnancy. It found that rural women were more likely to be at an unhealthy weight than their urban counterparts. In addition, it found for rural women of normal weight, they had more trouble gaining appropriate amounts of weight during the pregnancy. However, obese and overweight rural women were less likely to have excessive weight gain during the pregnancy themselves.

Pregnant women receiving poor prenatal care are more likely to have excessive fetal growth
Nathan Hale, PhD had a study that looked into the variation for pregnancies that had excessive fetal growth. For the most part, the it found that women with gestational diabetes were more likely to have excessive fetal growth. However, when looking at closer among women with gestational diabetes, women who had inadequate prenatal care were more likely to have excessive fetal growth than women who had intermediate/adequate prenatal care.

Women delivering in rural hospitals are less likely to have delivery complications
In a study by Sarah Laditka, PhD it looked at whether the area of a hospital location had any effect on delivery complications. When looking at the data, it found that women on Medicaid who had a pregnancy in a rural hospital were actually less likely to have a delivery complication. Surprise!

However, the authors pointed out that this difference is most likely to due to women in rural areas driving to urban areas for their births.

African American women delivering in rural hospitals are more likely to have delivery complications
Unfortunately, when we look into the data deeper, we find that African American women are still at a disadvantage. African Americans women delivering in rural hospitals were more likely to have a delivery complication than their African American counterparts in urban hospitals. One of the factors that made this difference is because African American women were less likely to have access to care than their other women.

In the meantime, remember to give a nice tap on that subscribe button to the very bottom or top left hand side of this page to read more about the South Carolina Rural Health Research Center.

Catalano PM. Increasing maternal obesity and weight gain during pregnancy: the obstetric problems of plenitude. Obstetrics and Gynecology 2007; 110(4):743-744

Gallagher A, Liu J, Probst JC, Martin AB, Hall JW. Maternal obesity and gestational weight gain in rural versus urban dwelling women in South Carolina. J Rural Health. 2013 Winter;29(1):1-11

Hale N, Probst JC, Martin AB, Bennett K, Liu J, Glover S. Variation in Excessive Fetal Growth Across Levels of Prenatal Care among Women with Gestational Diabetes. Journal of Primary Care and Community Health. Accepted for publication April 19, 2011.\

Laditka SB, Laditka JN, Bennett KJ, Probst JC. Delivery complications associated with prenatal care access for Medicaid-insured mothers in rural and urban hospitals. J Rural Health. 2005 Spring; 21(2):158-66.