7 Organizations and Birth Centers That Save Black Mothers’ Lives #MaternalHealth

Today as we celebrate and commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day, here are seven organizations and birth centers that are helping save the lives of black women during pregnancy, childbirth and after childbirth.

All maternal mortality and morbidity data in the United States report the same thing: black women die in disproportionately high numbers when compared to non-Hispanic white women. In fact, black women are four times more likely to die during or after childbirth than white women. One of the biggest statistics is black women — no matter socioeconomic status, education, lifestyle and access to health care — still die in larger numbers from maternal health complications.

The United States is the only developed country where the maternal mortality rate is increasing. Black women bear the largest brunt of this increase as they succumb to maternal health complications in the largest numbers.  National organizations and regional birth centers have emerged to save more black mothers’ lives, especially in a climate where the most money is spent on health care than any other country in the world and more and more black women are dying.

Support and follow these organizations and birth centers that are supporting reporting social and reproductive health.

Ancient Song Doula Services (www.ancientsongdoulaservices.com): Full Spectrum evidence – based doula care organization focused on the doula as preventative care in underserved communities.

Black Mothers Matter (blackmothersmatter.org):  Advancing the human right to safe and respectful maternal health care.

Black Women Health Imperative (http://www.bwhi.org):  We are Black Women’s Health Imperative – the only national nonprofit dedicated to the physical, emotional & financial health & wellness of Black women & girls.

Black Women Justice Mission (blackwomenjusticemission.com): A collective of African-American, African, Caribbean and multi-racial women committed to transforming the birthing experiences for Black women.

Commonsense Childbirth (www.commonsensechildbirth.org): Jennie Joseph and Commonsense Childbirth Inc. is building a network of support to transform maternity care in the US. Be a part of the movement for change!

National Birth Equity Collaborative (birthequity.org): NBEC aims to reduce Black maternal and infant mortality through research, family centered collaboration, and advocacy.

SisterSong (sistersong.net): Southern Based – National Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective

Notable Articles and Health Series on Black Maternal Health 

Art provided by uzuriart.com.

Seeking Stories on Reproductive Health

World Pulse, a social network connecting women who work for change, is currently looking for stories on reproductive health and choices.

World Pulse’s story prompt: 

How do the laws in your country affect your reproductive health and choices? What are the most important victories, setbacks, and pressing issues you face?

Do you have a story about legislation that affects you personally or someone you know? Or if the laws protect your rights, are there cultural attitudes that undermine them? Have you witnessed grassroots efforts to increase access to reproductive health care or change policy?

Join voices from across the globe speaking out for women’s autonomy, health, and wellbeing.

Deadline: January 19, 2017 by 11:59 PST

If your story is chosen you will be a featured storyteller on WorldPulse.com and will receive a $100 USD honorarium.

Visit WorldPulse.com for more information and to submit your story.

 

Why The Eagle Huntress Is An Empowering Film for Young Girls

The Eagle Huntress narrated by Daisy Ridley follows the wonderful story of a teenage girl named Aisholpan who becomes the first eagle huntress in Mongolia.

We are introduced to Aisholpan at a boarding school located in a small town miles from her nomadic home because schools are quite far from where she lives. It’s the last day of school for that week and Aisholpan is taken home by her father on his moped. Her family are nomads that live in a simple circular hut in the midst of a vast barren plain edged by beautiful, rocky mountains. Her family consists of Aisholpan’s younger sister and brother, her mother, and her father.

Her father is one of the few remaining eagle hunters in Mongolia. For centuries Mongolian men caught eaglets, raised them, and used them to hunt for food to support their families. Since Aisholpan was a little girl she loved watching her father put on the eagle hunters’ garb and go out in search of food from rabbits to foxes. In fact, it was one of her joys to help her father with his eagle. As she grew older her father allowed her to play with his eagle as he saw her keen interest in becoming a hunter.

Continue reading Why The Eagle Huntress Is An Empowering Film for Young Girls

9 Facts We Learned in 2016 About Maternal Mortality in the United States

  1. Texas has the highest rate of maternal mortality in the developed world. (Source)
  2. In Texas, cardiac events, overdose by licit or illicit prescription drugs, and hypertensive disorders are the leading causes of maternal death. (Source)
  3. White women had the highest rates of diagnosed mental illness of any kind (depression as well as other psychological illnesses) in Texas during pregnancy and the puerperium; Black women had the second highest rates. (Source)
  4. The best state to have a baby is Vermont and the worst state to have a baby is Mississippi. (Source)
  5. Canadian researchers recently published an article stating that maternal mortality is not increasing in the United States because of more chronic health factors, but rather because of improved surveillance and documentation. (Source)
  6. 28 women out of 100,000 live births die per year in the United States. These statistics are based on data from 2013, the latest year data is available. (Source)
  7. California is the only state where maternal mortality rates have gone down. (Source)
  8. Women over 40 experience the greatest severe maternal morbidity factors in New York City and its surrounding areas. (Source)
  9. Since maternal mortality and morbidity data is difficult to assess, experts are calling on all states to standardize its data. (Source)

Source List

USA Today
Washington Post
New York Times (1, 2)
Texas Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Task Force and Department of State Health Services: Joint Biennial Report
WalletHub
National Institutes of Health
New York City 2008 – 2012: Severe Maternal Morbidity

Image Courtesy of Uzuri Art.

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