Black maternal mortality is a term used to describe the death of a black woman during pregnancy, childbirth, or within 42 days of the end of her pregnancy. Black women in the United States are 3-4 times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white women. The most common causes of death among black women are related to hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and infection.
Black maternal mortality rates are also higher in states with large rural populations and/or high poverty rates. In recent years, some progress has been made in reducing black maternal mortality rates, but the United States still has one of the highest maternal death rates in the developed world.
Reducing Black Maternal Mortality in Five Ways
- Listening to Black women’s voices
Black maternal mortality is a crisis in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Black women are three to four times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white women. This racial disparity is one of the country’s most striking health inequality.
While many factors contribute to this problem, one of the most important is the lack of Black women’s voices in the medical profession. When Black women do not see themselves represented in medicine, they are less likely to trust the system and seek care. This can lead to delayed or ineffective care, which can be deadly.
Black maternal mortality is a complex problem, but we can address it by ensuring that Black women’s voices are heard in the medical profession. Only then will we be able to provide the care that Black mothers need and deserve.
- Recognizing maternal warning signs
While many factors contribute to this disparity, we can reduce black maternal mortality by recognizing warning signs. Maternal warning signs include heavy bleeding, severe abdominal pain, and persistent high blood pressure. If these signs are not recognized and treated quickly, they can lead to serious complications like hemorrhage, organ damage, and even death. Educating black women and the medical professionals caring for them about these warning signs can help reduce the number of black maternal deaths.
- Providing timely maternal care
Providing timely maternal care is one way we can reduce Black maternal mortality. Timely maternal care includes access to quality prenatal care, which can help identify risks and complications early on. It also includes access to labor and delivery care and postpartum care.
In addition, we need to provide new mothers with adequate support after they give birth. This includes providing them with information on how to take care of their own health and the health of their newborns. It also means supporting them emotionally and financially. We must do better for Black mothers, and providing timely maternal care is a vital first step.
- Prioritizing maternal education
One way we can help reduce these disparities is by prioritizing maternal education. Programs that provide educational resources and support to pregnant women and new mothers can help them to manage their health better and make informed decisions about their care.
Additionally, maternal education can help empower Black women and give them greater control over their health and bodies. Investing in maternal education can help reduce the tragic inequities in Black maternal mortality.
- Providing access to maternal care
One way to reduce Black maternal mortality is to provide access to maternal care. By ensuring that Black women have access to quality prenatal and postnatal care, we can help to reduce the number of preventable deaths.
In addition, it is important to provide education on the signs and symptoms of complications like preeclampsia and hemorrhage. With the right care and support, Black women can have healthy pregnancies and safe births. Providing access to maternal care is essential in reducing Black maternal mortality.
Join Mama Thrive Today
Mama Thrive is a Telehealth program that provides safe and reliable maternal care. Our team of experts is available 24/7 to support and guidance throughout your pregnancy journey. With Mama Thrive, you can get access to:
- A network of maternal care providers
- Online resources and support
- Wide range of maternal care services
Join the Mama Thrive Telehealth Program today and get the care and support you need during pregnancy.