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Children born to these women are U.S. citizens, and ensuring their mothers receive prenatal care makes for a healthier U.S. population, said Swartz.


Dr. Jonas Swartz, a fellow in the Division of Family Planning at UNC OB-GYN, published research in 2017 showing that increased access to prenatal care for unauthorized and low-income, legal resident immigrant women leads to better health outcomes for these women and their children.

In this video, Swartz hits the high points of the the study, such as how the mothers’ access to care impacted their infants, who are U.S.-born citizens. Those infants experienced lowered mortality in the first year of life, better birth weights, more vaccinations and more visits with a health care provider. Having a healthier start points to an improved quality of life overall for these Americans, he said.

Swartz was recognized for this article – “Expanding Prenatal Care to Unauthorized Immigrant Women and the Effects on Infant Health” – with the 2017 Roy M. Pitkin Award from the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology, which honors departments of obstetrics and gynecology that promote and demonstrate excellence in research.