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"I get hungry all the time": experiences of poverty and pregnancy in an urban healthcare setting in South Africa.

Scorgie F, Blaauw D, Dooms T, Coovadia A, Black V, Chersich M - Global Health (2015)

Bottom Line: For pregnancy to result in a healthy mother and infant, women require adequate nutrition and to be able to access antenatal care, both of which require finances.In most cases, pregnancy reduced participants' earning potential and heightened reliance on their partners.Extending the Child Support Grant to include the period of pregnancy would not only serve to acknowledge and address the particular challenges faced by poor women, but also go some way to securing the health of newborn children and future generations.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Centre for Health Policy/MRC Health Policy Research Group, School of Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. fscorgie@wrhi.ac.za.

ABSTRACT

Background: For pregnancy to result in a healthy mother and infant, women require adequate nutrition and to be able to access antenatal care, both of which require finances. While most women working in the formal sector in South Africa obtain some form of maternity leave, unemployed women receive no such support. Additional interventions in the form of expanded social assistance to vulnerable pregnant women are needed. To help inform such an approach, we undertook a series of qualitative interviews with low-income pregnant women in Johannesburg.

Methods: Qualitative, in-depth interviews were held with 22 pregnant women at a public sector antenatal clinic in Johannesburg in 2011 to gather data on their greatest needs and priorities during pregnancy, their access to financial resources to meet these needs, and the overall experience of poverty while pregnant.

Results: A total of 22 women were interviewed, 5 of whom were primagravid. One woman was in the first trimester of pregnancy, while nine were almost full-term. All but one of the pregnancies were unplanned. Most participants (15/22) were unemployed, two were employed and on paid maternity leave, and the remaining five doing casual, part-time work. In most cases, pregnancy reduced participants' earning potential and heightened reliance on their partners. Women not living with the father of their children generally received erratic financial support from them. The highest monthly expenses mentioned were food, accommodation and transport costs, and shortfalls in all three were reportedly common. Some participants described insufficient food in the household, and expressed concern about whether they were meeting the additional dietary requirements of pregnancy. Preparing for the arrival of a new baby was also a considerable source of anxiety, and was prioritized even above meeting women's own basic needs.

Conclusions: Though pregnancy is a normal life occurrence, it has the potential to further marginalise women and children living in already vulnerable households. Extending the Child Support Grant to include the period of pregnancy would not only serve to acknowledge and address the particular challenges faced by poor women, but also go some way to securing the health of newborn children and future generations.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Conceptual framework showing determinants and impacts of socio-economic vulnerability among pregnant women
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Fig1: Conceptual framework showing determinants and impacts of socio-economic vulnerability among pregnant women

Mentions: Socioeconomic vulnerability was assessed by examining factors such as employment and income generation, receipt of state support, as well as level of education, gender of the household head, and financial and other contributions received from one’s partner. In this paper, poverty is defined as living below the upper poverty line of ZAR577 per person per month ($72), as mentioned above. Participants whose income placed them above this poverty line and whose narratives clearly did not reflect a position of socioeconomic vulnerability were nevertheless included in the analysis. Contrasting the experiences of these women with poorer ones provided useful insights, and helped to show how, at least in some way, how state support for poorer women might alter their health and wellbeing during pregnancy. After identifying the main themes emerging from interview transcripts, manual coding was undertaken and consensus on a final set of themes was reached through discussion among the research team. The findings are summed in the text, together with illustrative quotes. A conceptual framework was developed to depict how the interacting determinants of socio-economic vulnerability impact on women’s experiences of pregnancy and its outcomes (Fig. 1). This framework also shows how state support for pregnant women might mitigate the effects of women’s vulnerability in pregnancy.Fig. 1


"I get hungry all the time": experiences of poverty and pregnancy in an urban healthcare setting in South Africa.

Scorgie F, Blaauw D, Dooms T, Coovadia A, Black V, Chersich M - Global Health (2015)

Conceptual framework showing determinants and impacts of socio-economic vulnerability among pregnant women
© Copyright Policy - OpenAccess
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License 1 - License 2
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4549107&req=5

Fig1: Conceptual framework showing determinants and impacts of socio-economic vulnerability among pregnant women
Mentions: Socioeconomic vulnerability was assessed by examining factors such as employment and income generation, receipt of state support, as well as level of education, gender of the household head, and financial and other contributions received from one’s partner. In this paper, poverty is defined as living below the upper poverty line of ZAR577 per person per month ($72), as mentioned above. Participants whose income placed them above this poverty line and whose narratives clearly did not reflect a position of socioeconomic vulnerability were nevertheless included in the analysis. Contrasting the experiences of these women with poorer ones provided useful insights, and helped to show how, at least in some way, how state support for poorer women might alter their health and wellbeing during pregnancy. After identifying the main themes emerging from interview transcripts, manual coding was undertaken and consensus on a final set of themes was reached through discussion among the research team. The findings are summed in the text, together with illustrative quotes. A conceptual framework was developed to depict how the interacting determinants of socio-economic vulnerability impact on women’s experiences of pregnancy and its outcomes (Fig. 1). This framework also shows how state support for pregnant women might mitigate the effects of women’s vulnerability in pregnancy.Fig. 1

Bottom Line: For pregnancy to result in a healthy mother and infant, women require adequate nutrition and to be able to access antenatal care, both of which require finances.In most cases, pregnancy reduced participants' earning potential and heightened reliance on their partners.Extending the Child Support Grant to include the period of pregnancy would not only serve to acknowledge and address the particular challenges faced by poor women, but also go some way to securing the health of newborn children and future generations.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Centre for Health Policy/MRC Health Policy Research Group, School of Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. fscorgie@wrhi.ac.za.

ABSTRACT

Background: For pregnancy to result in a healthy mother and infant, women require adequate nutrition and to be able to access antenatal care, both of which require finances. While most women working in the formal sector in South Africa obtain some form of maternity leave, unemployed women receive no such support. Additional interventions in the form of expanded social assistance to vulnerable pregnant women are needed. To help inform such an approach, we undertook a series of qualitative interviews with low-income pregnant women in Johannesburg.

Methods: Qualitative, in-depth interviews were held with 22 pregnant women at a public sector antenatal clinic in Johannesburg in 2011 to gather data on their greatest needs and priorities during pregnancy, their access to financial resources to meet these needs, and the overall experience of poverty while pregnant.

Results: A total of 22 women were interviewed, 5 of whom were primagravid. One woman was in the first trimester of pregnancy, while nine were almost full-term. All but one of the pregnancies were unplanned. Most participants (15/22) were unemployed, two were employed and on paid maternity leave, and the remaining five doing casual, part-time work. In most cases, pregnancy reduced participants' earning potential and heightened reliance on their partners. Women not living with the father of their children generally received erratic financial support from them. The highest monthly expenses mentioned were food, accommodation and transport costs, and shortfalls in all three were reportedly common. Some participants described insufficient food in the household, and expressed concern about whether they were meeting the additional dietary requirements of pregnancy. Preparing for the arrival of a new baby was also a considerable source of anxiety, and was prioritized even above meeting women's own basic needs.

Conclusions: Though pregnancy is a normal life occurrence, it has the potential to further marginalise women and children living in already vulnerable households. Extending the Child Support Grant to include the period of pregnancy would not only serve to acknowledge and address the particular challenges faced by poor women, but also go some way to securing the health of newborn children and future generations.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus