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Low-income pregnant women in rural areas experience high levels of stress, researcher says
Date:1/29/2013

der. Many of the women had significant violent experiences in their lifetimes, and one in five was in an abusive relationship at the time of the interviews.

"Prenatal visits are key opportunities for health providers to talk with expectant mothers about their stressors, especially since many rural areas have fewer or unsatisfactory resources such as mental health care and domestic violence shelters," Bloom said. "Clinicians making referrals to resources should consider doing warm hand-offs, which involves sitting with the patients and making calls together or introducing them in person to people who can help them. Health providers also should keep in mind that rural woman have increased concerns about confidentiality and gossip and don't want to feel judged."

Bloom said rural clinicians need to ask pregnant women about their stress levels and their exposures to violence. In addition, medical providers need to let women know about available resources.

"The rural Missouri women I met have incredible strength and resilience," Bloom said. "Many of these women were living in very difficult circumstances with minimal resources. Health providers should remember that these women have amazing strengths and acknowledge those strengths when they work with them."

Bloom cautions that these findings are from a small sample of women who primarily were low-income, unemployed young Caucasian women in partnered relationships and are not necessarily representative of the larger population.


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Contact: Jesslyn Chew
ChewJ@missouri.edu
573-882-8353
University of Missouri-Columbia
Source:Eurekalert

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