To Your Health: Maternal Mortality Among Black Women

Feb 17, 2021

Before you walk out the door, are you sure you have everything? The baby’s first outfit? Did you install the car seat correctly? What about your birth plan? I don’t see an advanced directive in here. What are we supposed to do if you die while giving birth?

Unfortunately, this is a brutal reality for black mothers to be. While many women may be nervous about the pain of childbirth and the responsibilities of a new baby, not too many women fear death. About 700 women die each year in the U.S. as a result of pregnancy or delivery complications. Black women are 2-6 more times likely to die than their white counterparts.

In addition to the traditional worries about the cost and convenience of healthcare, black women  are often victims of implicit bias and may have to prove to the medical providers that their pain is real. These disaprities mean they worry that they may arrive at the hospital for what should be one of the most memorable days of their lives…and never walk out again.

It is important to become educated and well informed on not only your body, but also on your rights as a patient.

Resources

http://www.childbirthconnection.org/resources

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1595019/  

Center for Disease Control and Prevention. (2019). Leading Causes of Death-Non-Hispanic. black Females - United States, 2017. Chuck, E. (2020). The U.S. finally has better maternal mortality data. Black mothers still fare the worst. Retrieved from https://www.nbcnews.com/health/womens-health/u-s-finally-has- better-maternal-mortality-data-black-mothers-n112589

Howard, J. (2020). When women die in childbirth, these are the fathers left behind https://www.cnn.com/2020/02/21/health/maternal-mortality-fathers-grief/index.html

Content for this segment was created by Tayler M. Campbell as part of a project for SC301: Foundations of Health Communication, taught by Dr. Clubbs. Tayler is graduating in Spring 2021 with a degree in Healthcare Management: Informatics. After graduation she plans to continue her education at St. Louis University to earn a graduate degree in Investigative and Medical Sciences.

Recorded at home with Eli Hildebrand Clubbs engineering; edited at KRCU Studios by Dan Woods.