Armstrong, E. Kukla, R. Kuppermann, M Assessment

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¶ … Armstrong, E.; Kukla, R.; Kuppermann, M. & Little, M. (2009). "RISK and the Pregnant Body." Hastings Center Report. 39(6), pp. 34.

These authors considered the idea of risk during pregnancy and the fact the women and doctors alike tend to have an overly cautions view on what might be considered a risk or not. They compared this to the fact that during child-birth risks are taken more freely and are not chastised when they fail. The fact that women and doctors are careful during pregnancy is to be applauded because everything must be done with the health of the child in mind, but one cannot ignore the voice of the mother and not act when she thinks something is wrong.

Baraitser, L. & Tyler, I. (2010). "Talking of mothers." Soundings 44, pp. 117.

Despite maternal culture becoming more exposed and celebrated, these authors note that there is still a great deal of inequality in the workplace experienced by women who have the potential to become pregnant. Women are placed in a place that is between biological and social, according to the authors, which does not really afford them the rights or respects that they are due from either sphere. While the workplace discrimination against the potential for pregnancy is definitely observable, the more esoteric points made by these authors' arguments is less clear. Empiricism rather than simple assertion would better serve the cause that these authors are arguing for.

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Bauer, P.; Broman, C. & Pivarnik, J. (2010). "Exercise and Pregnancy Knowledge Among Healthcare Providers." Journal of women's health. 19(2), pp. 335.

Assessment on Armstrong, E.; Kukla, R.; Kuppermann, M. & Assignment

This study questioned ninety-three health care providers about their knowledge and beliefs about exercise during pregnancy was well as their awareness of ACOG guidelines on the matter. The researchers found that 99% of the practitioners believed that exercise was beneficial during pregnancy and that most also believed that heart rate should be kept below 140 bpm. They further found that many of the practitioners were not familiar with the ACOG guidelines at all. It was not surprising to find that exercise was known to be beneficial, but I was surprised to find out that many of these doctors were totally un familiar with guidelines that are in place to protect both mother and child.

Bennet, I.; Culhane, J.; Webb, D. & Coyne, J. (2010). "Perceived Discrimination and Depressive Symptoms, Smoking, and Recent Alcohol Use in Pregnancy." Birth 37(2), pp. 90.

This study involved a large population of pregnant women from a range of socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds, and found that certain types of discrimination and certain exposure levels to discrimination were directly related to negative health behaviors including smoking and drinking. Depression was also seen to increase as a result of everyday discrimination. It is interesting that "major discrimination," though poorly defined by the authors, did not lead directly to the same negative outcomes as everyday discrimination however slight in nature. Attempts to explain the reasons behind this would have made a nice conclusion to this rather clinical research.

Castillo, J.; Hook, L.; Spears, W. & Sunil, T.S. (2010). "Initiation of and Barriers to Prenatal Care Use Among Low-Income Women in San Antonio, Texas." Maternal and Child Health Journal. 14(1), pp. 133.

The authors of this study interview 444 low-income women seeking care at San Antonio clinics. They found that women who had social barriers, those who were less educated, those who did not have a partner and those who had not planned their pregnancies were less likely to seek out prenatal care - they also found that those women who enrolled in WIC were more likely to seek care. The majority of the women in the study reported that while they knew the importance of care and where to seek it and could afford it, yet some of these women did not get care at all. These findings show that if women seek care was not entirely based on circumstance, but on decisions and this seems very counter-intuitive to what one usually thinks of as maternal.

Chakrabarti, R. (2010). "Therapeutic networks of pregnancy care: Bengali immigrant women in New York City." Social science & medicine. 71(2), pp. 362.

This author researched the impact of therapeutic social networks on Bengali immigrant women in Ney York City. The author interviewed 40 women for this research study who are living in various neighborhoods within the city. She found that the aspects of these social networks that the women found most helpful were things like general advice of having a healthy pregnancy or cooking. She also found that the strength of these relationships was dependent on how long and where the woman lived within the city. The results of this study seems fairly obvious to me because having a network on which to rely is on its own therapeutic and the length and availability of these relationships is also going to effect their usefulness.

Chi, B.; Hanh, N,; Vibeke R. & Tine, G. (2010). "Induced abortion among HIV-positive women in Northern Vietnam: exploring reproductive dilemmas." Culture, health & sexuality 12(1), pp. 41.

The researchers for this article examined the practice of inducing abortions in women that had tested as HIV-positive in Northern Vietnam. This practice is seen by some as a necessary evil, but has also caused many psychological and sociological problems among many families and communities with high HIV levels. I was shocked to read that such practices could still take place in countries that have been largely Westernized. The disparity between the levels of healthcare available to individuals, not to mention issues of political choice, is astounding.

Clark, S.; Kabiru, C. & Mathur, R. (2010). "Relationship Transitions Among Youth in Urban Kenya." Journal of Marriage and Family 72(1), pp. 73.

The authors of this study looked at 1,365 reports of romantic and sexual partnerships in youths in Kisumu, Kenya. They found that there are a number of factors that will lead to engagement and marriage including, but not limited to, if they go to school, and independence from family. They also found that that couples are more likely to marry if they think their partner is exclusive, despite this men who have more then one partner are more likely to marry. It was interesting to read about these factors that influence the decision to marry, however I think they seem to be quite universal.

DeWitt, J; Kannan; Krishnakumar, A & Lumeng, J. (2010). "Healthy Eating and Harambee: Curriculum Development for a Culturally-Centered Bio-Medically Oriented Nutrition Education Program to Reach African-American Women of Childbearing Age." Maternal and Child Health Journal. 14(4), pp. 535.

The researchers on this study looked at the impact of peer-led nutrition curriculum on 102 African-American women of childbearing age. The curriculum taught healthier food choices and the authors focused their study on how the women changed their behavior by both changing what they ate (more fruits and vegetables) and how they took care of themselves (exercising more). I was glad to see that this program was a success with most of the women adopting at least some of these new behaviors and that the participants were happy with the curriculum and the outcomes. It seems like such a simple thing, teaching a healthier lifestyle, but sometimes it really takes an outside party to come in and facilitate the change.

Dun, T. (2010). "Turning Points in Parent-Grandparent Relationships During the Start of a New Generation." Journal of family communication. 10(3), pp. 194.

This author interviewed twenty-three first-time parents to further understand how the relationship between themselves and their parents, the new grandparents, changed from when the pregnancy was announced through to the birth. Through these interviews, the author found that there are ten distinct turning points in the relationship during pregnancy and found some to be either positive or negative (valence) and others to be internal or external (locus). I was very interested to read that there are common turning points within this relationship dynamic and that so many different events work together to change it.

Flavin, J. & Paltrow, L. (2010). "Punishing Pregnant Drug-Using Women: Defying Law, Medicine, and Common Sense." Journal of addictive diseases 29(2), pp. 231.

Both the health and the legal aspects of addictive drug use in pregnant women are examined in this article, with the large-scale social implication of a lack of access to adequate healthcare fairly well detailed and defined by the authors. They argue that low-income and otherwise disadvantaged women, who are far more likely to be drug abusers, are further punished and disadvantaged for failing to care for their children when the system cannot even care for them. The authors make a compelling argument, but it seems one-sided and does not acknowledge any personal responsibility on the part of the mothers being discussed.

Fransen, M.; Wildschut, H.; Mackenbach, J. & Steegers, E. (2010). "Ethnic and socio-economic differences in uptake of prenatal diagnostic tests for Down's syndrome." European journal of obstetrics & gynecology and reproductive biology 151(2), pp. 158.

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