Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Publication Title

Am J Obstet Gynecol


Objective: Black and low-income pregnant patients face significant inequities in health care access and outcomes in the United States. Yet, these patients’ voices have been largely absent from designing improved prenatal care models. Our objective was to use Human Centered Design to examine patients’ and health care workers’ experiences with prenatal care delivery in a largely low-income, Black population, to inform future care innovations to improve access, quality, and outcomes.

Study Design: Using snowball sampling, we conducted Human Centered Design-informed interviews with low-income, Black patients and health care workers in a large, urban setting. Interview questions addressed the first two Human Centered Design phases: 1) observation: understanding the problem from the end-user’s perspective, and 2) ideation: generating novel potential solutions. We assessed these questions for the three key components of prenatal care: medical care, anticipatory guidance, and psychosocial support.

Results: Nineteen patients and 19 health care workers were interviewed. All patients were Black, and the majority had public insurance (17/19, 89.5%). Health care workers included doctors, midwives, breastfeeding counselors, doulas, and social workers. Participants affirmed the three goals of prenatal care. Participants reported failures of current prenatal care delivery and potential solutions for each of the three goals (medical care, anticipatory guidance, and psychosocial support) and two overarching categories: maternity care professionals and care structure. Participants reported in an ideal model, patients would have strong relationships with their maternity care professional who would be at the center of all prenatal care services. Additionally, care would be tailored to individual patients and use care navigators, flexible models, and colocation of services, to reduce barriers.

Conclusion: Current prenatal care delivery fails to meet low-income, Black patients’ needs. Ideal prenatal care delivery includes more comprehensive, integrated services tailored to patients’ medical needs and preferences.





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