Date of Original Version

Spring 2010



Rights Management

All Rights Reserved

Abstract or Description

Prenatal development has a critical impact on a child’s life and is strongly affected by environmental factors, especially quality of prenatal care and home environment. Data was gathered in a South African village and a United States city through interviews, photojournalism, and archival data. A total of 14 women (10 South African, 4 American) were interviewed about their prenatal care and pregnancy experiences, and 12 were photographed in their surrounding environment. The photographs serve as a visual and emotional complement to the paper. The project showed that the extended family in South Africa provides a strong social support system for pregnant women, which serves to mitigate much of the lack of resources in the environment. In the United States, prenatal care typically assumes much of the education and social monitoring role, due to the smaller role of the American extended family and the cultural value placed on biomedical care. While the two environments are different, mothers and newborns in both environments generally have the necessary prenatal support.


Advisor: Sharon Carver

Department of Psychology