How These Women are Saving Black Mothers’ Lives


At a time when the pace of medical advances can be breathtaking, the rate of maternal death in the United States remains stubbornly high at 14 for every 100,000 live births. The United States is one of only two developed countries where maternal death rates actually worsened between 1990 and 2015. African American women have the highest infant mortality rate of any group in the U.S. Why aren’t we saving black mothers? it’s a matter of poor obstetric practices in the U.S. combined with overt racism.

Did you know that black mothers die at three to four times the rate of white mothers? And did you know that black mothers are an astonishingly 243% more likely to die from pregnancy or childbirth-related causes? In a national study of five medical complications that are the common causes for maternal death and injury, African American women in the United States are two to three times more likely to die than a white woman with the same condition.

Today, listen in as we hear the story of how a small community of women is creating a ‘village’ dedicated to the care of black women’s maternal health, how their founder balances her mission and motherhood, and what you can do to be part of this important movement of change.

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Show Notes

  • The social, cultural, and economic factors leading to high maternal mortality rates for women of color in the US
  • The importance of perinatal health workers in changing maternal health outcomes
  • What community based maternal health care looks like in action
  • How Mamatoto Village got started, what services they offer, and how they are changing maternal health in a big way
  • The problem with hospitals around the country closing their doors to women in labor
  • Learn what you can do to follow your passion
  • How to balance motherhood and a mission
  • How you can support Mamatoto Village, too

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