The community was chosen for the windshield survey, and this paper is Golden Beach in Miami, Florida. It mostly consists of families (same-sex or different-sex couples) with and without children. It is a small community located near Hollywood that appears to consist of mostly upper-middle-class and upper-class members. The vulnerable population identified during the survey was pregnant women (including teenagers). There were not many pregnant teenagers, but many pregnant women were seen. The purpose of this paper is to address the possible health risks associated with the identified vulnerable population. Demographic and epidemiological data will be used to assess the risks.
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Vulnerable Population Overview
Many pregnant women (up to 20-30) were seen in the community during the survey; three pregnant teenagers were also identified. Most of them appeared to be healthy and with a good socio-economic background, although one of the teenagers had unhealthy (grayish) skin color. Most of the women were either alone or with their husbands/other relatives.
Economic conditions such as poverty and unstable/low income can negatively affect pregnant women because they need expensive medical services and quality nutrition to avoid miscarriages or other health problems. Obesity can also adversely affect pregnant women, as well as such behaviors as smoking, drinking, or too intense exercises. Anxiety and depression are also common among pregnant women and can be fueled by their age, previous miscarriages, abortions, etc. (Ali, Azam, Ali, Tabbusum, & Moin, 2012).
Strengths, Risk Factors, and/or Barriers
The strength of becoming a mother early (during teenage or young adult years) is that the person will experience fewer problems with the gender gap with their child, will (possibly) become more responsible, and recover from labor sooner compared to older pregnant women (35-45 years old). Nevertheless, research shows that teenage pregnancy can have an adverse impact on physical and mental health, and young maternal age can lead to anemia, low birth weight, neonatal mortality, and stillbirths (Gibbs, Wendt, Peters, & Hogue, 2012). Risk factors for adult pregnant women include obesity, depression, anxiety, miscarriages, stillbirths, neonatal deaths, etc. Barriers that pregnant women might face include barriers to physical activity, dietary control, necessary health care, mental health counseling, etc.
Nordeng, Hansen, Garthus-Niegel, and Eberhard-Gran (2012) discuss the relationship between medication use and mental illnesses or problems in pregnant women. According to the authors, those women who were single and first-time mothers were more likely to use psychotropic drugs during pregnancy (Nordeng et al., 2012). The presence of anxiety and depression in pregnant women increased the possibility of psychotropic drug intake (Nordeng et al., 2012). Those women who had neither anxiety nor depression but were afraid of childbirth were more likely to take psychotropic drugs.
The community resources available to pregnant women include ultrasound, massage, birth control information, pregnancy counseling, abortion alternatives, nutritionist counseling, maternity clothes, medical imaging services, etc. Nevertheless, most of these services are available in neighborhood communities (Aventura, Central North Miami, The Waterways, etc.) (Yellow Pages, 2017). Therefore, if pregnant women need help, counseling services, or any other services related to pregnancy, they will need to either address the local clinics (where pregnancy counseling may not be present) or go to neighborhoods located near Golden Beach to receive help and/or information. The resources are adequate, but their location is not because the community needs to have at least one if not several pregnancy counseling officers together with other services. It is clear that pregnant women can be consulted at local clinics and hospitals, but the lack of counseling offices raises concerns about patients’ education levels.
Community Health Problem
The possible community health problem in Golden Beach is the small number of sexually active adolescents who know how to use condoms and always use them during sexual intercourse. The objective of the Healthy People Program is to increase the number of adolescents (15 to 19 years) who use condoms to prevent pregnancy and barrier possible disease transmission. As a nurse, I can provide community adolescents with information about the importance of condoms in the prevention of sexual diseases and pregnancies, as well as educate them about the impact of teen pregnancy on one’s life and the community in general.
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Healthy People 2020’s objective “FP-1 Increase the proportion of pregnancies that are intended” is directly related to pregnant women in the community; it is possible that not all of the pregnancies are intended (Healthy People, 2017, para. 1). The numbered objective is to increase the number of intended pregnancies from 51.0% to 56.0% (10 percent improvement).
Pregnant women (including pregnant teens) were identified as the vulnerable population in the community. The population can be affected by such diseases as obesity, mental illnesses (depression, anxiety, postpartum depression), as well as possible miscarriages or infant mortality. The lack of pregnancy counseling offices in the community can adversely influence their health as well. Pregnant women (including teens) need to be better educated about pregnancy planning and condom use to ensure that the majority of pregnancies in the community are intended. Pregnant women who have or might acquire any mental illnesses related to their condition need to consult mental health professionals to improve their quality of life.
Ali, N. S., Azam, I. S., Ali, B. S., Tabbusum, G., & Moin, S. S. (2012). Frequency and associated factors for anxiety and depression in pregnant women: A hospital-based cross-sectional study. The Scientific World Journal, 2(1), 1-9.
Gibbs, C. M., Wendt, A., Peters, S., & Hogue, C. J. (2012). The impact of early age at first childbirth on maternal and infant health. Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology, 26(1), 259-284.
Healthy People. (2017). Family planning.
Nordeng, H., Hansen, C., Garthus-Niegel, S., & Eberhard-Gran, M. (2012). Fear of childbirth, mental health, and medication use during pregnancy. Archives of Women’s Mental Health, 15(3), 203-209.
Yellow Pages. (2017). Golden Beach.