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How to combat the public health crisis of Black maternal mortality

It takes a village to raise a child, and it takes a village to save their mothers’ lives


The U.S. is the only high-resource country in the world with a rising maternal mortality rate. As shameful as that is, it gets worse. One group of women — Black women — are 2.6 times more likely to die from pregnancy than White women, according to CDC. In a 2017 study, Black women were five times more likely to die from postpartum cardiomyopathy, preeclampsia, and eclampsia than white women.


Olympic track medalist Tori Bowie died of eclampsia during childbirth at age 32. Her death on May 2 occurred alone in her home during labor. The cause of her death was announced to the media in mid-June.


Take a moment to sit with this. A family focused on building was instead burying. Every maternal death is tragic. That 80 percent of these deaths are preventable compounds the horror.


Bowie made headlines because she’s a decorated athlete. But the truth is that she’s no different from the Black women who die from maternal mortality every year in the U.S.

Last month we looked at opportunities for addressing health disparities that affect women overall. In this issue, we focus on Black maternal health, and how individuals, communities, health care organizations, and policymakers are igniting a national movement in support of reproductive justice.


How to Combat the Public Health Crisis of Black Maternal Mortality

September 19, 2023

It takes a village to raise a child, and it takes a village to save their mothers’ lives.

// By Wendy Margolin //

The U.S. is the only high-resource country in the world with a rising maternal mortality rate. As shameful as that is, it gets worse. One group of women — Black women — are 2.6 times more likely to die from pregnancy than White women, according to CDC. In a 2017 study, Black women were five times more likely to die from postpartum cardiomyopathy, preeclampsia, and eclampsia than white women.

Olympic track medalist Tori Bowie died of eclampsia during childbirth at age 32. Her death on May 2 occurred alone in her home during labor. The cause of her death was announced to the media in mid-June.

Take a moment to sit with this. A family focused on building was instead burying. Every maternal death is tragic. That 80 percent of these deaths are preventable compounds the horror.

Bowie made headlines because she’s a decorated athlete. But the truth is that she’s no different from the Black women who die from maternal mortality every year in the U.S.

Last month we looked at opportunities for addressing health disparities that affect women overall. In this issue, we focus on Black maternal health, and how individuals, communities, health care organizations, and policymakers are igniting a national movement in support of reproductive justice.


Race a Factor Regardless of Income

A new Black mother is at a higher risk of maternal mortality than her white counterparts, no matter her income level. A study published in January 2023 shows that in California, the wealthiest Black mothers are twice as likely to die from childbirth as the wealthiest white mothers.


There’s a Twitter hashtag #pregnantwhileblack and a newly released book by board-certified OB/GYN Monique Rainford of the same name. A summary of the book on Amazon states, “Despite medical advances over the last twenty years, for Black women, the overwhelming dangers of carrying and delivering children remain and it only seems to be getting worse.”


Read the full article about how to improve Black maternal healthcare on Strategic Health Care Marketing.




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