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.
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.
My guest, Aza Nedhari, MS, CPM, brings more than 15 years of experience in community organizing, reproductive health education, and program management and development. She is a Certified Professional Midwife, Family Counselor, and the Founding Executive Director of Mamatoto Village, a perinatal family support organization in Washington, DC that utilizes a three-generation model that integrates a holistic approach to care. Aza is a fiercely dedicated woman who believes that by promoting health equity, the reduction of barriers in maternal and child health begins to dissipate; giving rise to healthy individuals, healthy families, and healthy communities. Aza was recently honored by the Mayor of the District of Columbia with a “Washington Women of Excellence Award” in the Leader in Maternal Health. Aza is pursuing her Doctorate in Human Services with a concentration in Organizational Leadership and Management. She's a mother to three spirited and gentle children and partner to an amazing artist.
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 going beyond survival into personal and community transformation, how their founder balances her mission and motherhood, and what you can do to be part of this important movement of change.
In this episode we discuss:
- 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
Links and References
- Meet all of your personal supplement needs in a way that supports Mamatoto Village and other organizations working toward improved maternal health care through the Replenish Supplement Store
- Learn more about Mamatoto Village or support them directly: Mamatoto Village | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
- Organizations mentioned if you want to get more involved: