The Lived Experience of Pregnancy as a Black Woman in America: A Descriptive Phenomenological Case Study
Originally Published In
Online Journal of Interprofessional Health Promotion
For more than fifty years, black women have faced more than double the U.S. average risk for both maternal mortality  and severe morbidity . In addition, black women face two to three times the risk for preterm and low birth weight infant outcomes [3 - 7]. Poverty, barriers to healthcare access, and lifestyle choices are commonly identified factors influencing this disparity [5, 7, 8]. These stress-related factors are credible; however, half a century of studies, based on the same, have not led to improved outcomes. Large population studies indicate that such factors alone are inadequate to explain the problem , and the disparity persists. While individual stressors have a role in race related health disparities, particularly in pregnancy outcomes, a comprehensive explanation of the problem incorporating complex social, environmental, interpersonal factors with individual components are needed. Yet, there is a paucity of such comprehensive evidence. Specifically, there is insufficient description of the lived experience of adversity for pregnant black women.