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?

25 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?

    The reason why African American mothers have a much greater rate in giving birth to low birth-weight babies is due to stress. Most African American mothers have internalize racism even with a college degree. They experience racism on a daily basis which build up as stress overtime, such as finding a job after college. African Americans feel more stress because of their color and their history. Stress also takes a huge toll on the body and causes the body to react in ways that can be harmful to the unborn baby. The mother may also experience weight loss and not properly take care of herself. This has shown us that the build up of stress in a mother can cause to deliver a premature birth.

    • Generally, coming from a high socioeconomic status and better education means better health and a longer life. However in the study by the two neonatologists, Dr. Collins, and Dr. David, they found this is not the case in African-American women, regardless of socioeconomic background, regardless of education, there is a high rate of premature and to low birth-weight babies. The doctors hypothesized that racism and the inequalities effect African American babies before they are born, while they are still in the womb. It has to do with a culmination of life experiences, the chronic stress living with discrimination. They found that white women and African immigrants had the same outcome of normal weight for a newborn, whereas African American women had low birth weight babies. It was found that it only took one generation before the daughters of the immigrants experienced low birth weight babies. This undercuts the genetic predisposition theory and seems to point to the fact that there is indeed something here in the United States that is causing low birth-weight babies in African-American women.

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

    Dr. Collins and David came up with the conclusion of racial disparities in birth outcomes is due to the discrimination of African Americans in the U.S
    They believe that racism still exist and it is causing stress to African American women. African American women experience racism daily that can be directly or indirectly causing stress to accumulate overtime. The unequal treatment of African American in this country causes stress in the mind which can alter the body significantly resulting health problems, such as, premature and low birth-weight babies.

  3. Why is it significant that the daughters of African immigrants had worse birth outcomes than their mothers?
    Well, the difference between the daughters of African immigrants and their mothers is that the daughters were born and raised in the U.S. therefore, the significance shows that this issue has nothing to do with genes but rather due to something that is particularly happening in this country which is the chronic stress that is caused by racism and discrimination. This sort of stress can affect the body in negatives ways and creates a poor pregnancy outcomes such as premature birth and low birth weight along with long terms disabilities for the baby.

  4. African American mothers, even those with college degrees have more low birth-weight babies because they tend to be way more stressed about racism than white and African American immigrant females as they feel like no matter how successful and educated they become , they will never be “good enough” and their children will have to go through same discrimination that they are going through. These thoughts and constant racism causes high level of stress among these women which causes negative biological effects not only on them but also their babies.

  5. The reason that it is significant that the daughters of African American immigrants had a worse birth outcomes than their mother proves that issue is not genetics. The research done in the video showed that whites and African immigrants had similar birth outcomes but that African American had a poorer outcome, this goes to show that it is something in the country relating to black women is causing this. The video showed how chronic stress over time can cause this poor birth outcome. It also showed that the African immigrant’s daughter born in the US will be susceptible to poor birth outcomes if she has a child which means that there is a quick turnaround and that issue causing this poor outcome does not skip generations or takes time to develop.

  6. Question: Why do African American mothers – even those with college degrees – have more low birth-weight babies than white American and African immigrant women?
    Dr. Collins and David believed that racism largely contributes to the chronic stress that develops within these women of color. To strengthen their argument that racism still persists in our culture, a study on discrimination against Black men and their employment prospects showed a definite preference on White men, with or without felony convictions. Furthermore, it has been proven that stress is a major stimulus for a variety of illnesses. Having said these, we can forget about the level of education, the socioeconomic status or the prenatal care (although of course, they help in some level) as primary agents conducive to optimal birth outcomes.

  7. Statement: 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.”

    I believe that this statement is very true, but it also effect the overall health of any black woman even when trying to get pregnant. And let say after all this stress she endured during pregnancy and had health baby girl, the stress continues because you have to raise her to mentally combat society direct and indirect judgements toward her. It’s like never end cycle of chronic stress from generation to generation, for example of the YouTube video below:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GTvU7uUgjUI

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

    African American mothers even those with college degrees have more low birth-weight babies than white American and African immigrant women is due because of chronic stress. The reason is due to chronic stress is because of racism and discrimination African American mothers go through each and everyday of their lives. We live in a society that unfortunately still lives in racism, in the video they stated that white women never question their race, but 50% African American women do and about 21% question their race at least once day. African American mothers when pregnant have a added stress which is racism, their are look down upon and have internalized stress in them, which affects them personally and biologically which is wrong. When African American mothers have this added stress they can cause their body to into to stress mode, inflame their placenta and cause them into going into early labor and give birth to a premature baby. All women should be treated from the start of being in the mother womb equally , we need to take care of our women better to end low birth-weight babies.

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

    I think it’s very significant that children of African descent specifically have higher infant mortality rates than Africans themselves. It means that saying, ‘Oh, just because ‘Such and Such’ is black, its normal’ is not a valid argument, and indicates that American society itself affects black women’s health and their baby’s health as well. It is something that is unique to living in The United States of America that is bringing health down, something that can’t be put under socioeconomic status or genetics, but under the stress of living in a country that typically puts Blacks or Africans beneath every other race.

  10. African American mothers even those with college degrees have lower birth-weight babies than white American and African immigrant women was because growing up as a minority African female wasn’t good for your health. Dr. Collins and David discovered controversial results. They found out that it was the unequal treatment in the American society. Unfortunately, even when the babies were not even born racism was part of their life. They receive less interviews compared to White Americans which was the study done in 2004. It can have negative impact in health for African Americans and the system needs to take a change. These things in their life can cause chronic stress. Also, they stated that chronic stress is associated with minorities even though if you have higher education. Not the least, racism is very dominant in African Americans. Chronic stress might be the lead cause where the mothers of the babies have had to go through in their life. In the movie, it also showed that chronic stress overloads your body and pumps out extra stress hormones which limits the fluid growth and leads to premature babies. Even though, this study showed that Kim was taking proper care of her health, she had higher education, she used to exercise but still her baby was very small. It was very unfortunate that racism was a playing factor in her life. She thinks about her daughter’s future deeply that hopefully she doesn’t have to face the same situation like her.

  11. The reason why African American mothers, even those with college degrees have lower birth-weight babies than white American and African immigrant women is because of chronic stress. On a daily basis according to the video, fifty percent of African American women experience internalized racism. On the other hand fifty percent of white American women do not even think of their race. For African American women to feel this way, they must experience racism a lot. This could be at job interviews, work, or even doctors appointments. This stress of being discriminated based on race, affects them having low-weight or premature babies. The stress can be so chronically detrimental that it can affect the physical state of an African American pregnant women’s body, leading to affecting their child. Their overload of stress hormones can affect the placenta such as decreased blood flow. This decreased blood flow could lead to a premature baby, whose weight can be too low. This chronic stress of racism literally takes a horrifying affect on African American pregnant women, even if they have good income. The environment they live in is most likely the main factor as to why this low-weight birth happens. Saying low-weight babies are more common in African AMERICAN women is saying something about America. There needs to be something done about this, to lower the possibilities of this. The video said seventy percent of white Americans believe racism is a problem of the past. This is the issue, and it needs to be addressed. More people need to be informed of what is happening to these African American women, their babies, and why.

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

    African American mothers have low birth-weight babies due to the stress they feel and racist experiences they have throughout their pregnancy. Throughout a woman’s pregnancy she releases stress hormones. Great amounts of stress induces labor and this is a key reason as to why African American mothers give birth to low birth-weight babies or premature babies. These women already feel stressed and to have the stress that is placed upon them by pregnancy creates a bigger reason to go into labor sooner (the more stress the sooner the labor). Stress causes constriction of blood flow to the placenta “which could limit fetal growth”. Kim Anderson gave a few examples as to where she felt stress, and something as simple as going to buy something at a store can cause stress because the workers there are quick to assume that a woman of a dark complexion is a thief. Jones stated that “For white women, fifty percent saying that they never think about their race. For black women, almost fifty percent think about their race once a day or more frequently, with twenty-one percent thinking about their race constantly.” This shows the daily stress that black women go through therefore explaining why their babies are born at a low weight. In order to end this common trait in the labor of african american women, racism in the workplace, in schools, in public, etc must end.

  13. According to the film “When the Bough Breaks” the reason why African American mothers have more low birth-weight even after getting a higher education than the white American and African immigrant women because of stress. The stress has come from the racism. The racism creates a high level of stress into their body during pregnancy which leads African women to suffer a chronic stress due to racism. The stress prevents their organs and hormones system to function appropriately which lead their baby to have a low weight. As I was seeing the film I noticed that how African Americans have less opportunities than the white American in the US. I was stunned to see the insights of African Americans who despite the fact had a perfect record yet at the same time not getting as much as interviews for employment than the White Americans with felony record who might even now getting procured by the organizations and companies. It is sad to see that the racism still exist in our daily life these are the types of behavior that are causing African American to have low birth-weight babies. There must be some sort of action should be taken by the government to protect these women from getting stressed so that their babies can turn out healthy.

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

    The man evidence that the Doctors proposed was that the compared to White non-latino woman, African born woman had about the same infant mortality rate. When we examine african american born woman we see that they had the highest infant mortality rates. That alone shows that the reason shows that the reasoning for the higher infant mortality rates being different were not due to race but something else entirely. They contribute the reasoning behind the difference in mortality rates to the stress levels of african american woman as they go through life. With every micro-agression transacted it creates this harmful affect to the baby and thus results in a higher mortality rate.

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

    African American mothers have more low birth-weight babies than white American and African immigrant women because they are exposed to some form of racism in their environment. The documentary shown in class explains that a huge misconception people believe as to why this happens is due to the socioeconomic status of these women, indicating those with less opportunities and wealth are the reason why newborns are born with low weight. It is explained that even African American women with an education and decent jobs also have low-weight babies. This is due to the constant stress they face in society due to the many forms of racism; constantly being discriminated against in institutions, hospitals, workplaces. The struggle of having to face unfair judgment and not having the same opportunities as others of a different “race.” Though racism is not the same as it was, the undermining effects of it are still active today, where different groups of people get treated differently due to stereotypes and biases. The documentary explained how this stress affects African American mothers biologically, affecting the newborns in their wombs. White american women do not face this stress because they were and are not the group of people negatively affected by racism. African immigrant women do not face this stress because they were not exposed to the struggles of racism from America; the lifestyles of African American women and African immigrant women are far different from one another due to the contrasting environments they are exposed to.

  16. Because of racism and stress African American mothers have more low birth-weight babies than white American and African immigrant women. Racism is inevitable, across the world where everyone is supposedly created equal, racism shouldn’t be tolerated. In addition, whole world needs to live up to its duty to treat everyone with equality and rise to the occasion. In the video a women released stress hormones throughout her pregnancy. During pregnancy African American women are suffering through racism which causing them to be stressed out. Racism has shown to take a huge toll on a African American woman, especially when they are pregnant. Deplorably, it is easier for a white woman than it is for an African American woman to succeed because of racism. In the video, there was a woman lawyer. Her job was very stressful. I first thought this may have contributed to her premature delivery. However, that wasn’t the case, she was suffering from a stress due to racism which later cause her baby to be turned out as low weight. 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. In point of fact, people who have been poorer as well as have less education doesn’t mean their baby would come out as a low weight as this film has proven this logic to be wrong already. Ultimately, I would say racism shouldn’t be existed weather a person belongs to rich family or poor. Everyone should treat each other equally since all of us are given birth by god, as well as we should stand together and protest for women getting stressed so that their babies can be as healthy as possible.

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

    African American mothers have more low birth-weight babies than white American and African immigrant women because of the stress they have caused by racism. It is known that on average the more education and socioeconomic status you have, the healthier you are and less likely to give birth to a low birth weight baby. In the case of Kim Anderson, she is a well educated and successful lawyer with a good socioeconomic status, who also maintains a healthy lifestyle. During her pregnancy, she took proper care of herself and despite all her efforts to be healthy, she had a premature baby that weighed under three pounds. The neonatologists in the film spoke about African American women and the risks of having underweight babies being caused by something social and not biological. The film showed that African immigrant women and white American women have more similar birth outcomes than that of African American women and this is because of the racism that African American women are exposed to their whole lives which ends up affecting their pregnancies. Racism is a stressor and the body of a woman experiencing chronic stress will release stress hormones which in pregnant woman can trigger labor earlier than expected.

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

    The reason for low birth weight babies for African American mothers with the college degree is because in one point of their life they faced racism and those build up stress gets to the mother at pregnancy. The white Americans doesn’t face any racism growing up as well as African immigrant women so they do not have any built-up stress regarding their race to affect them at pregnancy. A women’s body is most vulnerable to anything at pregnancy and especially bad stress which can affect the mother and the baby.

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

    It is definitely significant that African immigrants had worse birth outcomes than their mothers because it is evident that what ever stress the mother was going through passed onto the off spring and this isnt fair to those that werent victims of discrimination. I know merely saying we should stop racism wouldn’t change much but spreading awareness of this research would be a start. Also, knowing that African off spring are effected by how their mothers grew up would mean this could happen to all mothers.

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

    The reason that African American mother even with college degrees have more low birth-weight babies than white American and African immigrant women is because The African American mother experiences racism in American and that stresses her body out, which then causes her body to change and develop problems for herself and even her baby that is not yet born. Some racism that they might experience is job interviews, where the employer would rather pick a white person than a black person even though that black person has a better resume and back ground. Also they might have experience a lot of racism during their college years which can affect their long term health. Therefore when they have a child their body is under lots of stress and aren’t functioning properly to provide nutrients for the unborn baby.

  21. • Why do African American mothers – even those with college degrees – have more low birth-weight babies than white American and African immigrant women
    I am not a doctor so I wouldn’t know exactly if African American mothers do or don’t have low birth weight babies. What I do know is that most women in this country are raised different. I am not going to say All African Americans are the same. I think it all depends on their background, how they were raised by their family. Healthy nutrition while pregnant, exercise, family support, educational centers, and so on. Not because one African American have a low birth weight baby all the other African American mothers are going to have low birth babies.

  22. 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 one factor that affect African American mothers, low birth-weight, is the stress they get during and before and after the pregnancy period. African American have a history in United Stated, and what is it is “Racist” about all and inequality. They were not allow to go to different places before in the 17th and 18th due to slavery. Additionally, in this period from no in some state white people still have the seed on them, considering black African American to be a low status. Even with the African American who graduate in this period still have the mentality about racist and how white society categories them as a minority with a low status. Therefore, all of this little issues affect an individual, in the way they behave, think, and health. Thus, when an African American got pregnancy all this burden she held in herself, eventually she inherit to her offspring.

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

  24. 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 THE LIFESTYLE AFRICAN WOMAN PLAY IN THEIR WORLD HAS AN AFFECT ON THE LOW BIRTH WEIGHT BABIES. WHAT I MEAN BY THIS IS BLACK WOMAN ARE KNOWN AS THE STRONG INDEPENDENT HEAD OF HOUSEHOLD, EVEN IF THERE IS A MALE FIGURE PRESENT. AFRICAN AMERICAN WOMAN DO EVERYTHING IN THEIR FAMILY AND THAT CAN CAUSE A LOT OF STRESS.

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