A recent JAMA Pediatrics article revealed startling facts backed up with reliable statistics: pregnant women evicted from their homes have a higher incidence of low weight babies. Low-weight babies equal increased NICU admissions and higher health expenditures to the annual sum of $26.2 billion.
Dr. Michael Silverstein and colleagues compared records of over 10,000 pregnant who were evicted with nearly 79,000 pregnant women who did not face eviction and noted the disparity regarding birth outcomes. These findings should not be surprising because the expectant mother's food insecurity equals the food insecurity of her unborn child.
The importance of social determinants (SDH) related to health is established in previous studies. While there are ongoing efforts to improve health disparities related to pregnant women, there is much more to do.
If you are pregnant and facing eviction, here are some helpful facts and resources:
- COVID-19 Help — CARES Act Eviction Protection Act is a federal policy to prevent evictions for 120 days. This policy applies to people who live in public housing, multifamily buildings, or a landlord with a mortgage insured by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and HUD.
- https://www.nolo.com/evictions-ban This is an excellent resource by NOLO that provides state-by-state information on potential relief for renters and prevention of evictions
Health care professionals are encouraged to ask patients about present housing conditions and to refer those affected to social service or behavioral health specialists for further assistance.
The prevention of eviction could potentially prevent homelessness and adverse birth outcomes for unborn babies and their mothers.
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