Working Together to Reduce Black Maternal Mortality

Most Pregnancy-Related Deaths are Preventable

By the US CDC

Black women are three times more likely to die from a pregnancy-related cause than White women. Multiple factors contribute to these disparities, such as variation in quality healthcare, underlying chronic conditions, structural racism, and implicit bias. Social determinants of health prevent many people from racial and ethnic minority groups from having fair opportunities for economic, physical, and emotional health.

Pregnant people and their families can:

  • Talk to a healthcare provider if anything doesn’t feel right or is concerning.
  • Know and seek immediate care if experiencing any of the urgent maternal warning signs, including severe headache, extreme swelling of hands or face, trouble breathing, heavy vaginal bleeding or discharge, overwhelming tiredness, and more. These symptoms could indicate a potentially life-threatening complication.
  • Share recent pregnancy history during each medical care visit for up to one year after delivery.
  • Connect with healthcare and social support systems before, during, and after pregnancy.

Healthcare providers can:

  • Hear her-Listening can be your most important tool. Her hear concerns. It could help save her life

    Ask questions to better understand their patient and things that may be affecting their lives.

  • Help patients, and those accompanying them, understand the urgent maternal warning signs and when to seek medical attention right away.
  • Help patients manage chronic conditions or conditions that may arise during pregnancy like hypertension, diabetes, or depression.
  • Recognize and work to eliminate unconscious bias in themselves and in their office on an ongoing basis.
  • Respond to any concerns patients may have.
  • Provide all patients with respectful quality care.

Hospitals and healthcare systems can:

States and communities can:

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