Many Indiana parents know that complications during pregnancy can affect a newborn child. We have heard about the effects of poor nutrition, smoking and drinking during pregnancy. However, have you heard about discrimination and its effect on the birth weight of a child? If you follow this blog, you know that pregnancy discrimination occurs in the workplace. If such discrimination leads to depression, this can have very dire consequences for a baby.
Recently, a study by Yale researchers found that racism against the pregnant women can lead to lower birth weight. The researches point to depression as the contributing factor. The study looked at 1,000 black and Latina women and concluded that depression was an issue for moms faced with discrimination.
Babies born with a low birth weight, which is considered to be less than 5.5 pounds, face an increased risk of infection. Low birth weights may also lead to learning disabilities and delayed motor skills.
The findings of the study are not exactly new. Researchers from a collaborative 2010 study from University of Washington, The Ohio State University and the University of Pittsburgh put forward the idea that women are more likely to give birth to a child with a low-birth weight or deliver prematurely if diagnosed as clinically depressed. Such depression can be the result of maltreatment or discrimination at the workplace.
If discriminatory treatment affects a woman’s mental health and potentially puts the baby at risk, then employers should ensure that such illegal discriminatory practices are not going on in the workplace.
Source: Huffington Post, “Low Birth Weight Linked To Discrimination Against Moms-To-Be: Study,” Aug. 29, 2012