Do Unconditional Income Supplements Improve Poor Pregnant Women’s Birth Outcomes?
By Brownell M, Chartier M, Nickel N
Prenatal development is crucial to a child’s health, not only in infancy, but also throughout her life. Exposure to risk factors such as material stress, poor prenatal nutrition, and substance abuse can lead to adverse birth outcomes such as low birth weight (under 2,500 grams or 5.5 pounds) and preterm birth (birth before 37 completed weeks of gestation).1 These birth outcomes are in turn associated with health and development challenges throughout the life course. Women who live in poverty are more likely than women above the poverty line to have risk factors for poor birth outcomes, including high stress levels, inadequate nutrition, and smoking, drinking alcohol or using drugs during pregnancy; they are also more likely to give birth to preterm or low birth weight children.2 This article describes three approaches to improve birth outcomes, and summarizes a study we conducted that assessed whether an unconditional cash transfer was associated with improved birth outcomes.
November 15, 2017
Brownell M, Chartier M, Nickel N (2017) 'Do Unconditional Income Supplements Improve Poor Pregnant Women’s Birth Outcomes?' Pediatrics: Vol. 137, 6. Available online: https://www.irp.wisc.edu/publications/focus/pdfs/foc331d.pdf