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What is Black Maternal Mortality, and Why Does It Matter?


Black maternal mortality

Maternal mortality among Black women has become a significant concern in recent times. It refers to the higher rate of death among Black women during childbirth or pregnancy compared to women of other races. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) established the term to highlight the disparities in maternal health outcomes for Black women.


According to the CDC, Black women are three to four times more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications than White women. The reasons for this disparity are multifaceted, with complex contributing factors.


One of the factors causing this disparity is the lack of access to quality healthcare for Black people. Many Black-birthing people live in areas with limited healthcare resources and are less likely to have health insurance than birthing people of other races. The lack of resources can make receiving the care needed during pregnancy and childbirth challenging.


Another factor is the racism and discrimination prevalent in healthcare. Healthcare providers may exhibit bias and prejudice toward their Black patients, leading to poorer health outcomes. This is particularly true for maternal health, where Black women are often not taken seriously when they report symptoms or concerns.


The CDC's decision to use the term "Black maternal mortality" was crucial in creating awareness about this issue. Coining the term has simplified the idea via terminology, which helps bring attention to the disparity in maternal health outcomes and has led to increased efforts to address the problem. Both federal and state-level initiatives are being implemented to reduce maternal mortality rates for Black birthing people.

 

CVD's ReBirth Plan centers around reaffirming its commitment to healing justice, organizational stability, and centering Black birthing people in its work. At our core, we are working to reduce maternal mortality rates for Black birthing people through CVDoulas, themselves, and other valuable resources. The CVD mission is simple: connect pregnant and birthing people to free and low-cost compassionate labor, postpartum, and pregnancy loss support and information rooted in Black feminist wisdom and healing.

We cordially invite you to bolster our efforts and Be The Change in birth inequity. You can support our commitment to improving Birth and Reproductive Justice and equity with your one-time or monthly donation, which helps keep CVDoulas working to turn the tide on the disproportionate numbers surrounding Black maternal mortality and morbidity. Once you've made your contribution, remember to spread the word.

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