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CLUES TO POSITIVE BIRTH OUTCOMES IN NEW MEXICO

Authors

  • Leah L. Albers CNM, DrPH

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    • 1Leah L. Albers received her nursing degrees from Vanderbilt University (BSN, 1971; MSN, 1974). She studied nurse-midwifery at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (1977). She was in full-scope practice for 11 years, and then completed the DrPH degree at the University of North Carolina School of Public Health (1990). Currently, she is an assistant professor at the University of New Mexico (UNM) College of Nursing, and has a joint appointment in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, UNM School of Medicine.


University of New Mexico College of Nursing, Albuquerque, NM 87131–1061.

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.

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