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Safe and Connected Communities

Investing in communities and strengthening social connections can address multiple social drivers of health that impact birthing people, babies and families.

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What We Know

Numerous facets of community life impact maternal and infant health, including access to and investment in public services, such as community health centers, community gardens, transportation, safe housing, quality childcare and workforce development.

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Investment in neighborhoods and support services are investments in families

Evidence shows that pregnant women who reside in low-opportunity neighborhoods (measured by residents' economic mobility) have an increased risk of preterm birth; this risk is higher for Black women than White or Latina women.


Pregnant Black woman holding a sonogram
Bird's eye view of a neighborhood

The Risk

Highly segregated communities have significantly higher preterm birth rates than communities that are less segregated, even when controlling for factors such as neighborhood poverty, insurance coverage and maternal medical conditions.

--Associations of neighborhood-level racial residential segregation with adverse pregnancy outcomes. Salow, Arturo D, et al. 2018, American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, pp. e1-7.

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