Chronic condition / Preterm birth
Cassandra is a 27-year-old Black woman in her first trimester of pregnancy with her second child. She works as a marketing analyst and on top of spending time with her husband and son, she is completing her MBA.
Her busy work and family life has led to a sedentary lifestyle complete with fast food and pre-packaged meals that are easy to pick up after a long day's work. This lifestyle has resulted in weight gain and the diagnosis of hypertension three years ago. After regularly seeing her primary care physician to address her weight and high blood pressure, she was advised to buy healthy and fresh produce for her and her family, but because she lives in a rural area designated as a “food desert”, she has to drive over 45 minutes to a grocery store limiting her consumption of such foods.
Cassandra’s OBGYN has warned that her chronic hypertension could lead to preterm delivery along with other complications affecting her unborn baby such as preeclampsia. Although she wants to keep her baby safe and healthy, this news only increases her daily stress and she feels stretched thin.
Social Determinants of Health
Taylor is a 24-year-old Caucasian woman in her second trimester of pregnancy with her second child. Her first child was born preterm and was required to remain in neonatal care for one month after birth. She works as an hourly daycare provider while her husband travels often as a sales representative. Despite both parents being employed, they struggle to make ends meet. Working as a daycare provider, one of the perks is free childcare for her toddler, which is crucial as her family and friends live on the other side of the country.
Due to her previous preterm pregnancy, her OBGYN has recommended weekly progesterone shots starting immediately which requires approval from her state's Medicaid program. With her husband traveling with their only vehicle and the inability to take off work, Taylor has already missed three appointments and is struggling to keep a consistent appointment schedule. She’s looked into public transportation, but living in a rural area has proved that to not be a viable option.
Taylor struggles to find a support system and wishes there was an easier way to connect with her provider on a consistent basis and receive the treatment that she needs to keep her and her baby healthy.
Jennifer, a 20 year old first time mother, gave birth to her daughter Casey six weeks ago. Due to complications during labor Casey was delivered via cesarean and has been primarily stable after birth.
Before becoming pregnant, Jennifer was starting her second year in college working towards a communications degree.
During pregnancy, Jennifer developed gestational diabetes and had to remain under close eye by her OBGYN. With the additional appointments and tests, Jennifer could no longer regularly attend her classes and with the added cost of medication to control the diabetes, she couldn’t afford to make her student loan payments.
With medical and childcare costs, Jennifer won’t be able to reenlist in school and is frantically looking for a job to make ends meet. Watching a newborn has been very taxing as a single mother, so whenever Casey is tired, she lets her sleep no matter what position she’s in.
Although Jennifer asks for her mother’s help to watch the baby as she goes out to job interviews, their schedules never seem to line up and she can’t find someone to watch Casey for even a half hour.