Doulas, Birth & The Maternal Death Rate
So, I'm sure most recently you may have learned about what Doula’s are. You may have also seen the article floating around " Doulas help lower mortality rate in black women" . I understand just hearing about the higher death rate in black women is concerning. Some women even fear giving birth because of these alarming statistics.
If you are new to any of the information, I would like to help you find the resources you need to better understand.
While it may seem like a new mainstream role, Doulas have been around for what seems like forever .
A Doula is a person who is trained to assist a family during childbirth and who may provide support to the family after the baby is born. I personally provide support from conception all the way through parenthood. The key components to a Doulas support are unbiased Physical, Emotional and Educational Support.
WHAT’S THE MATERNAL MORTALITY/DEATH RATE?
According to the CDC, black mothers in the U.S. die at three to four times the rate of white mothers, one of the widest of all racial disparities in women's health. Put another way, a black woman is 22 percent more likely to die from heart disease than a white woman, 71 percent more likely to perish from cervical cancer, but 243 percent more likely to die from pregnancy- or childbirth-related causes. In a national study of five medical complications that are common causes of maternal death and injury, black women were two to three times more likely to die than white women who had the same condition.
YOU MAYBE ASKING WHY IS THIS RATE SO HIGH?
"No one is listening to black women."
There are many factors, however an overwhelming amount of families are saying providers aren’t listening.
Black women are telling you that care providers aren't listening to them. That they are being pushed a side. That they have to fight for quality care.
“In a survey conducted in 2017 NPR, reports that 33 percent of black women said that they personally had been discriminated against because of their race when going to a doctor or health clinic, and 21 percent said they have avoided going to a doctor or seeking health care out of concern they would be racially discriminated against.”
It's doesn't matter if you are poor, college graduate, public figure or celebrity. Black women are dying because no one is listening to us.
A black woman’s birthing space shouldn't have to be turned into a courtroom. She shouldn't have to plead her case for the same quality of care that her white counterpart next door is receiving.
Because of these very real statistics, more families are wanting better birth experiences and they look towards Doulas to help achieve their desired birth. Find out more here.
As your Doula I am here and ready to help you. I support you, I nurture you, I respect you and your choices, I provide you with educational support, I bring a sense of calm and so much more. But more importantly- I listen, even when you're silent.
How do we fix this?
Listen to Black women and their families!
There are so many other aspects to this topic, that this one blog won’t cover. Below I have linked more information to help with your search in finding out more about this topic.
Please leave any additional links to information that may be helpful to others in the comments.
With the goal of wanting people to listen, a new platform to this blog will be creating the space to be heard (conception, pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum and parenting). If you are a women of color and would like to have your story heard please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
MEET BRITTANY FERRELL
Part 2 coming soon!