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ABSTRACT

Childbearing women in New Mexico possess several characteristics known to be associated with poor pregnancy outcomes: late entry into prenatal care and few visits, a high rate of teen pregnancy, low family income, and ethnic and minority group membership. Despite these, rates of low birth weight and infant mortality in New Mexico remain at or below those for all American women. Data from the 1988 National Maternal and Infant Health Survey were used to compare characteristics of New Mexico women with women in the southwest and with all American women to identify factors that may contribute to favorable pregnancy outcomes in New Mexico. Observed differences that warrant further study were; a high proportion of births for Hispanic women, greater gestational weight gain, and a high rate of participation in the Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants, and Children.