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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Minnesota: Women Who Declined Medical Care During Hospital Births Report Poor Treatment Overall

A new study involving University of Minnesota School of Public Health researchers surveyed mothers nation-wide and found many who declined care for themselves or their newborn babies during hospital births were more likely to report experiencing discrimination and other forms of poor treatment as well.

“The connection between declining care and poor treatment suggests those women may be labeled as ‘problem patients’ and stigmatized,” said senior author and assistant professor, Dr. Rachel Hardeman.

The study, which Dr. Hardeman co-authored with SPH graduate and assistant professor Dr. Laura Attanasio at University of Massachusetts-Amherst School of Public Health and Health Sciences, was published in the journal Social Science & Medicine.

Drs. Attanasio and Hardeman examined the hospital birth experiences of women by reviewing responses from the Listening to Mothers III survey, a national survey of 2,400 women age 18-45 who gave birth to a single baby.

The study found:

“The popular press has shown us through stories, such as that of tennis player, Serena Williams, that Black women are not receiving the care they need and deserve during childbirth,” said Dr. Hardeman. “The results of our study illuminate this further. It seems that Black women pay a penalty for speaking up.”

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