When the Bough Breaks: Post-Viewing Activity

After viewing When the Bough Breaks, please response to ONE of the following questions after reading the first quote:

Neonatologist Dr. Richard David says: “there’s something about growing up as a Black female in the United States that’s not good for your childbearing health.”

• What evidence did Dr. Collins and David discover that undercuts genetic explanations for racial disparities in birth outcomes?

• Why is it significant that the daughters of African immigrants had worse birth outcomes than their mothers?

• Why do African American mothers – even those with college degrees – have more low birth-weight babies than white American and African immigrant women?

22 thoughts on “When the Bough Breaks: Post-Viewing Activity

  1. • Why do African American mothers – even those with college degrees – have more low birth-weight babies than white American and African immigrant women?
    I think that being based on video, it was because of “unequal treatment of African-American woman in American society”. According to study of Collins and David, “women who perceived that they had been treated unfairly on the basis of their race, whether it was looking for work, in an educational setting, or a variety of other settings, had more than two-fold increased risk of very low birth weight infant.” It gets in pair with stress that affects pregnancy even in woman with good income and well educated, and who live a healthy lifestyle.

  2. Why do African American mothers – even those with college degrees – have more low birth-weight babies than white American and African immigrant women?

    In my opinion, there are factors that led African America mothers, even for those with college degrees to have more low birth weight babies than white American and African immigrant women, though some African immigrant women too go through the same dilemma. The main root cause of this problem, however, I would say has to do with race and racism; and factors like poverty, disparity on various levels, socioeconomic status, environment, uninsured for medical insurance, stress, etc are all what seem to contribute to this differences of what African American experiencing. And talking of being healthy, of you don’t have what it takes to be healthy, then there’s always going to be some health issues – which in the case of pregnant African American results to their low birth weight babies. For example, if you are poor, you probably won’t get a good health insurance for you to have the proper medical care (this is a factor, if a woman is pregnant); and ones you are poor, that means you won’t have enough money to eat healthy the way you want to (it’s a factor); and no money – means being stressful( a big factor for a pregnant woman) – and for some women, the only way to curtail their stress is taking to drugs (alcohol, smoking, etc) which will have a major negative effects on pregnancy. Therefore, in other words we see this big picture of lifestyle as a cycle for most African American to experience what white American do not. If, at the flip of the coin, African American mothers have the same, or nearly ninety percent of what white American mothers have, the result(s) would completely be different in their lives.

  3. Why do African American mothers – even those with college degrees – have more low birth-weight babies than white American and African immigrant women?

    African immigrants are one of the “races” that have had it hard throughout the history of time. Since slavery began, the equality between African immigrants or descendants of African immigrants and whites has never been there. From being raped by they’re master and birthing bastard mixed breeds to birthing babies that would be considered inferior because of the color of their skin, how do you give birth knowing this about your unborn child. The stress of inequality and inferiority runs deep through the blood stream, literally. When you have so much worry about someone before they’re even born, it affects you mentally and physically. It’s shown that this stress that African Americans have been carrying around has indeed altered our DNA. When segregation was legal, African American women worried about the simplest things, sending their child to the store, sending their child to school, allowing their child to play outside; there was no safe haven for African Americans or their children especially if you lived in the south. Who wants to start a family in these conditions. There’s so much worry, concern and so little happiness. Fast forward to the 2000’s and withing the last few years, police brutality against African American males have sky rocketed. How can you give birth to a healthy child knowing these facts. African American mothers can keep their children safe in the home but the reality of the situation is there will always be more danger for their child in the outside world especially if it is a male. College degree or not, you cant tell from looking at someone how educated they are; you can only take a guess at their “race”. Based on this “race” you can judge them stereo typically or be a descent human being and give them respect.

  4. Why is it significant that the daughters of African immigrants had worse birth outcomes than their mothers?
    Since the two neonatologists Richard David and James Collins, in the film, When the Bough Breaks, agreed that racism was the main issue behind premature labor that affects African American women, I think there are a few reasons why the impact of premature labor is less on their African Immigrant mothers. Firstly, if that mother went through majority of her pregnancy in Africa or another continent with less racial discrimination towards black people, she would have experienced an easier path through pregnancy and would also be at less risk for premature labor, assuming that her standard of living is good. However, it would be very different for a daughter who is born in the USA, which is a country that has racial discrimination towards black people. The daughter is expected to go through regular racial discrimination which will eventually lead to stress before and during pregnancy, which create a high risk of premature labor. In the film, Kim Anderson’s situation also highlights that even when African American women have a good lifestyles, they are likely to have some premature labor issues when compared to other races in the USA, because racism will possibly be a factor in their lives. As the research by Fleda Jackson and Mona Phillips shows, most African American women get discriminated throughout their lives even before pregnancy, and stress wears down their body, so when pregnancy comes around, the body is not in the best shape. So one can say that another advantage for the African immigrant mother is that she may not have experienced such racial discriminations at a young age, so even if she gets pregnant in the USA, the level of stress on her body might not be that strong assuming that she is also in good health otherwise.

  5. Why do African American mothers – even those with college degrees – have more low birth-weight babies than white American and African immigrant women?

    According to the video we watched, African American mothers- even those with college degrees – have more low birth-weight babies than white American and African immigrant women as it is suggested that ” the that chronic stress associated with being a minority, particularly being African American, for some biological reason, increases the risk of delivering a premature, low birth weight infant”. The women who have been through the problems of mental pressure or distress is likely to give a birth to a low weighed babies. Even women who have gone to colleges seems to give birth prematurely or to a low weighed babies due to the stress they carry because of their household problems related to money or family members. However, Collins and David figured out that “the gap actually widened as education and socioeconomic status improved and then began to look at it from a bigger perspective and
    broader perspective.”

  6. Why do African American mothers – even those with college degrees – have more low birth-weight babies than white American and African immigrant women?

    According to the film we watched they show that there can be evidence of African American Women that have college degrees having lower birth weight babies that white american and African immigrant women because of the stress of being a minority in society. Using the idea of their Socioeconomic status to prove that they have stress because their bad socioeconomic is caused by being a minority. I think it is wrong to assume this fact. In the present it seems that more people of any race have a better chance for healthcare than they did when this survey was taken. If they did this survey today i think the baby weights of white, african immigrant, and african american women would be close or the same.

  7. Why do African American mothers – even those with college degrees – have more low birth-weight babies than white American and African immigrant women?

    According to the video, the reason why African american mothers with college degrees have low birth weight babies than white american and African Immigrant women because of stress that they are having in the society. African American with higher degree and jobs still being discriminated by other color of race. People does not know they are a doctor or lawyer, they judge the person skin color and assuming that they are uneducated. When a person going through all this kind of discrimination each day, the person mindset and body becomes stressful and causing stress to their daily life. The person may causing long term depression that might leads to other illness to their body. This might weaken their mindset and body so it might causing them to have a low weight babies.

  8. • Why do African American mothers – even those with college degrees – have more low birth-weight babies than white American and African immigrant women?

    According to the video the stress associated with racism is so much that it cause a lot of stress hormone to be produce leading to low birth weight babies. Dr. Collins said “Recent data suggests that chronic stress associated with being a minority, particularly being African American, for some biological reason, increases the risk of delivering a premature, low birth weight infant. Tyan Parker Dominguez who is an assistant Professor at USC School of Social Work states “Think about a woman who is pregnant who is under a great deal of stress. Her body is going to start pumping out extra stress hormones. And so she may reach that tipping point for labor to begin sooner. To eliminate the problem of premature and low birth weight babies in African American women something has to be done about those feeling of racism and stress.

  9. Why is it significant that the daughters of African immigrants had worse birth outcomes than their mothers?

    According to the article, it makes the connection with the higher on the socioeconomic ladder you are, the lower your risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, infant death and preterm deliveries. For highly educated African American women like Kim, the advantages of income and status do make a difference for her health, but it isn’t factual there’s still something else at play racism.are at increased risk during pregnancy, not because of something innate to their biology, but because of the cumulative impact of racism they experience over their lifetime an impact that can outweigh even the benefits of higher social and class status.unequal treatment causes anxiety and the release of stress hormones, which over a lifetime of constant activation not only creates wear and tear on the body’s organs and systems, but can trigger premature labor. 

  10. Why do African American mothers – even those with college degrees – have lower birth-weight babies than white American and African immigrant women?
    I think that birth outcomes are affected by the negative impacts that one encounters throughout their life, such as racism. So it does not only imply in the time of pregnancy, but it impacts the whole life. As we all know that racism in America is increasingly high and people of color suffer with chronic disease because of the racism and discrimination. This may be a major reason that black women give birth to children with low birth weight. Therefore, racial justice is an important aspect to be corrected.

  11. Why do African American mothers – even those with college degrees – have more low birth-weight babies than white American and African immigrant women?

    According to the study that was created by Collins and Davis, the main factor that African American have low birth -weight babies than the other groups is because they experience being treated unfairly for race, whether it was looking for a job or going to school. Data that also has been collected and that coincides with race is chronic stress. If you have chronic stress that stress is hard to get rid out of your body because of the relation you are having towards it, especially when your pregnant. That’s why it’s said for women to have less stress as possible, because it can affect their pregnancy.

  12. Why do African American mothers – even those with college degrees – have more low birth-weight babies than white American and African immigrant women?
    Income is one factor that can help with someone’s health, people are in lower risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Another and important factor that impacts someone’s health would be racism. According to Dr. James Collins and Richard David African American women are at risk of having babies with a low birth weight. Although African American women would take good care of themselves, eat right, exercise and avoid smoking, they can experience stress symptoms with unequal treatments. African American women are being criticized on their skin color and on what they wear. This treatment can cause a release of stress hormones which later will effect a pregnant African women with premature labor.

  13. Why do African American mothers – even those with college degrees – have more low birth-weight babies than white American and African immigrant women?

    I think this might be due to stress. Stress can affect our health. I think in this case, where African American mothers feel pressured by discrimination and a need to prove themselves especially at the work place, has a negative impact on the development of the infants, before birth. While it is true that your socioeconomic status affects the options available to you, it doesn’t change how society treats certain groups of people. There is probably a need to prove and to show the value of their work outweighs the perceived views, others may have of them. This can add to more negative stress to fetal development.

  14. Why do African American mothers – even those with college degrees – have more low birth-weight babies than white American and African immigrant women?
    Well according to Collins, it was said that originally the disparity in premature delivery was driven by socioeconomic differences between African Americans and whites. They are less likely to receive college education than whites. *****(Mixed up assignment with this weeks)*****

  15. Why do African American mothers – even those with college degrees – have more low birth-weight babies than white American and African immigrant women?

    Due to unequal prenatal care and poverty black women are more likely to experience very low birth-weight babies because of limited accessibility and resources and the gap even continue among mothers with college educations. Black women have experienced racial discrimination and psychological stress more than white women. Discrimination at work, looking for jobs, at school, in public settings and even with medical visits. Stress can suppress the immune system, weaken the body and will increase bacterial infection in the vagina or the whole system and the womb. Obviously Racism will increase stress that can activate the release of corticotropin hormone, may also increase blood pressure, sugar ( gestational diabetes) precursor of pre-eclamptia. All have been linked to preterm or premature deliveries and low birth weight.

  16. Why do African American mothers – even those with college degrees – have more low birth-weight babies than white American and African immigrant women?
    In the Post Viewing, black women who lived in a higher socioeconomic status still had babies that were premature. Race was internalized and the effect was stress. Stress led to a lower immune system and then an early delivery of a baby. I think it is important to pay attention to what causes the stress and try as much as possible to remove or avoid the stressor as much as we can. In this video, racial discrimination was one of the stressor’s. Being female is another stressor. According to the culture, religion and country that we came from, women are taught that they are lower class citizens. This has an effect on how we view ourselves.
    Even today, the declaration of Independence still has that all men are created equal. Some people in the United States, still literally believe that it is only men, and not women and men are created equal. People of different shades of skin color still are not treated equally. Honestly the Declaration of Independence needs to be re-written.
    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” —The Declaration of Independence
    According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), access to care measures include facilitators and barriers to care and health care utilization experiences of subgroups defined by race and ethnicity, income, education, availability of health insurance, limited English proficiency, and availability of a usual source of care.
    In this video, this woman was a lawyer. Her job was very stressful. This may have also contributed to her premature delivery. Every woman’s body is different when we compare genes, hormones, size, shape and function. Every pregnancy is different for that woman based on her race, culture and beliefs.
    People who are poorer and have less education are more likely to suffer from diseases, to experience loss of functioning, to be cognitively and physically impaired, and to experience higher mortality rates.
    But this woman had a higher economic standard of life. She had a college degree and yet had a premature baby. Societal beliefs about race was very big factor that caused a great deal of stress during this black woman’s pregnancy. If societal beliefs about our race is affecting our health then we should do what we can to prevent stressful situations that causes a premature delivery. Maybe we can temporarily change our environment by staying indoors more often or go stay with family members that are supportive. Become part of a support group that encourages and have a positive affect on how we think and exercise is very important.

  17. Why do African American mothers – even those with college degrees – have more low birth-weight babies than white American and African immigrant women?

    From what I understand, racism plays an even bigger role in our lives than I thought. To the point where it’s actually killing not us only but our offspring, racism is a crime. The African American women born in the united states are brought up learning about racism and that’s where it all begins. Every racial conflict from going to school, getting a job, trying to “fit in” with white American society to better adjust your chances at success builds mountains of stress. Its a constant stress that seems to never extinguish. The racial stress alone is enough but then there’s financial and socioeconomic status that seems to burden our minds, our subconscious minds rather. An everyday struggle and the African American women who are educated suffered through even more stress just having that added stress of college with a higher probability of encountering more racism. African immigrants grew up and lived in an area most populated by other Africans so their racial encounters were slim to none allowing them normal full term pregnancy.

  18. • Why is it significant that the daughters of African immigrants had worse birth outcomes than their mothers?

    Comparing the birth outcome of African immigrant women to that of women who are first generation American showcases that the result in the disparities in birth outcomes or not genetic. The environment that African American women face throughout their life affects them in their childbearing years. African American women are face with racist situation throughout their life that make a great physical impact in their health, which is seen when they are pregnant. African immigrant women do not face the same issue since they are not subject to a lifetime of racial circumstances.

  19. • Why do African American mothers – even those with college degrees – have more low birth-weight babies than white American and African immigrant women?

    They believe its because the generation of injustice and racism cause a higher level of stress in African American mothers. They feel like they are judged when working in there communities and throughout daily activity. This constant stress affects the baby even before it is born and induces many premature births, this cycle has to stop.

  20. • Why do African American mothers – even those with college degrees – have more low birth-weight babies than white American and African immigrant women?
    Getting a college degree or more income doesn’t change other people’s thought process. Even though the black mothers had college degree, they were exposed to the same level of racism as other black women with less education did. I think black women who had college degree may have perceived higher level of racism and stress eventually. Getting college degree might make them believe that they wouldn’t be discriminated as much and they would have high rank in society due to their education. But people who are racism and discriminates other, they don’t care how much educated you are, they only see that you are black women. Racism causes stress which has negative effects during pregnancy. African immigrant women only have face racism from few years; it might not have affected their telomeres yet that’s why they have less incidence of having low birth weight babies.

  21. • Why is it significant that the daughters of African immigrants had worse birth outcomes than their mothers?

    This question is very interesting to me because I reminds me of my family back home in Guyana and people of other Caribbean countries. I personally feel like living in America corrupts an individual. My friends and family back home always feel I am lucky to be living in America but they do not understand the stress and hardships that I deal with on a daily basis. Which maybe the reason African immigrants have worst birth outcomes than their mothers.
    Whenever I visit back home to Guyana I never want to come back. I always find myself questioning my family and friends on why they don’t appreciate the life they are living. Yes they do not have as many opportunities as me but they certainly have a more peaceful better way of living. Imagine waking up in the morning and being able to pick your breakfast off a tree rather than having to stress and wonder where your next meal is coming from. Being an American is stressful which leads to different health issues within a pregnancy.

  22. What evidence did Dr. Collins and David discover that undercuts genetic explanations for racial disparities in birth outcomes?
    In order to discard the existence of a “prematurity gene”, which was used to explain birth outcomes disparities between African-American and White mothers, Dr. Collins and David decided to compare the newborns from three different groups: African Americans, African immigrants in the US and White women born in the US. What they found was that African and White babies were born with similarities regarding their weight while African American babies weighted significantly less. Thanks to that studied, Dr. Collins and David concluded that the poor birth bearing outcomes in African American women is not a genetic matter but a social one.

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