"And often for good reason," said study author Danielle Bessett, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Cincinnati.
Most pregnancy self-help books, best known for their month-by-month guidance on fetal development and lifestyle coaching, are also emphatic about following medical advice exclusively over what they consider the outdated advice of a mother or friend — creating a "generational disconnect" between pregnant women and their mothers, according to Bessett.
Based on interviews with pregnant women and their mothers while following the soon-to-be-moms throughout their pregnancies, Bessett found a stronger link between pregnant women and their mothers among minorities and women with less than a college degree who had little trust in their healthcare providers.
"It was not the case at all that these mothers were anti-science or against medicine, but for minority women and those with lower levels of education, there is clear evidence of not being listened to or feeling cared for by physicians and clinics as much as pregnant women with higher education," Bessett said. "This all ties back to why women with lower education might be relying more on their mothers — because their moms listen to them more."
The study was published recently in the journal Reproduction, Health, and Medicine (Advances in Medical Sociology).
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Featured image at top: Danielle Bessett's research on the "generational disconnect" looked at how closely women took their mothers' advice during their pregnancies based on their educational level. photo/DepositPhotos.com