The Latina paradox: An opportunity for restructuring prenatal care delivery

Michael S. McGlade, Somnath (Som) Saha, Marie E. Dahlstrom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

114 Scopus citations


Latina mothers in the United States enjoy surprisingly favorable birth outcomes despite their social disadvantages. This "Latina paradox" is particularly evident among Mexican-born women. The social and cultural factors that contribute to this paradox are maintained by community networks - informal systems of prenatal care that are composed of family, friends, community members, and lay health workers. This informal system confers protective factors that provide a behavioral context for healthy births. US-born Latinas are losing this protection, although it could be maintained with the support of community-based informal care systems. We recommend steps to harness the benefits of informal systems of prenatal care in Latino communities to meet the increasing needs of pregnant Latina women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2062-2065
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Public Health
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2004


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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