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Objective Postpartum visits are an important opportunity to address ongoing maternal health. Experiences of discrimination in healthcare can impact healthcare use, including postpartum visits. However, it is unknown whether discrimination is associated with postpartum visit content. This study aimed to examine the relationship between perceived discrimination during the childbirth hospitalization and postpartum visit attendance and content. Research design Data were from Listening to Mothers in California, a population-based survey of people with a singleton hospital birth in California in 2016. Adjusted logistic regression models estimated the association between perceived discrimination during the childbirth hospitalization and 1) postpartum visit attendance, and 2) topics addressed at the postpartum visit (birth control, depression and breastfeeding) for those who attended. Results 90.6% of women attended a postpartum visit, and 8.6% reported discrimination during the childbirth hospitalization. In adjusted models, any discrimination and insurance-based discrimination were associated with 7 and 10 percentage point (pp) lower predicted probabilities of attending a postpartum visit, respectively. There was a 7pp lower predicted probability of discussing birth control for women who had experienced discrimination (81% vs. 88%), a 15pp lower predicted probability of being asked about depression (64% vs. 79%), and a 9 pp lower predicted probability of being asked about breastfeeding (57% vs. 66%). Conclusions Amid heightened attention to the importance of postpartum care, there is a need to better understand determinants of postpartum care quality. Our findings highlight the potential consequences of healthcare discrimination in the perinatal period, including lower quality of postpartum care.









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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


National Heart Lung and Blood InstituteUnited States Department of Health & Human ServicesNational Institutes of Health (NIH) - USANIH National Heart Lung & Blood Institute (NHLBI) [R56 HL151636-01]