Despite increasingly high health care spending, the U.S. has one of the worst rates of deaths related to pregnancy and childbirth in the developed world. The damage goes beyond statistical data points, with rates of birth trauma also rising. And if you are a person of color, the situation is much worse. What is going on, and what can you do to help bring more equity into yours and all births? Denise Bolds tells us more about this important topic. Check it out!
What we talked about:
- U.S. ranking on maternal and infant health
- Statistics of disparities in outcome and disparity in care for people of color
- Why is it important for people to know this?
- What is the history behind this injustice – where does it come from?
- The different layers to the impact of stress
- What can be done to create more justice and bring equity into the birthing room?
- The importance of representation
- The value of every single letter
- What can pregnant people do to lessen the inequity in their experience?
- What can birth workers (doulas, nurses, caregivers) do to lessen the inequity?
Helpful links and articles*
- The ‘Father of Modern Gynecology’ Performed Shocking Experiments on Slaves, from History.com
- Remembering Anarcha, Lucy, and Betsey: The Mothers of Modern Gynecology
- Why America’s Black Mothers and Babies Are in a Life-or-Death Crisis, from the New York Times
- What Serena Williams’s scary childbirth story says about medical treatment of black women, from Vox
- Nothing Protects Black Women From Dying in Pregnancy and Childbirth, by Nina Martin
- ProPublica’s Lost Mothers: Maternal Care and Preventable Deaths series
- Milwaukee Midwife Aims to Reduce Infant Mortality in Black & Brown Families, article on Sabrina Foulkes-Thomas’ initiative
- Exploring African Americans’ High Maternal and Infant Death Rates, Center for American Progress
- ‘Father Of Gynecology,’ Who Experimented On Slaves, No Longer On Pedestal In NYC, NPR
- Family Sues L.A. Hospital After New Mom Dies from Internal Bleeding Post C-Section, about Kira Johnson’s death
Want to help? Support these organizations advocating for birth equity:
- Documentary: Mother May I?, Kickstarter Campaign ending May 15th! – from the Birth Monopoly Foundation
- 4Kira4moms.com – Organization advocating for improved maternal healthcare, in honor of Kira Johnson.
- Birth In Color Midwifery
- National Birth Equity Collaborative
- Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective
Related Birthful episodes:
- Informed Consent, with Cristen Pascucci
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About Denise Bolds
Denise, a native New Yorker holds a MSW degree in social work, she is also a DONA International certified birth doula and is known as Bold Doula since 2014 with over 78 births of experience. She comes from a lineage of southern matriarchal healers. Denise is currently elected as Regional Director, Northeast, USA with DONA International as of January 2017. She is a author of several books, blogger and internet radio show host/producer with domestic and international listeners reflecting her empowering passion in maternal health disparities awareness and equality in birth work. Denise specializes in High Risk, VBACS, First Time Pregnancies, Same Sex and Hospital Births/Epidurals. She lives in Hell’s Kitchen and loves Mexican food, her Kindle and skydiving.
Learn more at BoldDoula.com
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