From Jim Crow to a Changing Zip Code – The Impact of Weathering on Black Families

Guest blog by Marianne Fray, Chief Executive Officer, Maternity Care Coalition

No matter where we live, how we work, or who we are, having a baby is a big deal. When a baby enters our lives, we take on additional identities — as caretakers, teachers, and advocates. Birthing is beautiful and exhausting but too often life-threatening, especially for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC).

The United States has the highest maternal and infant mortality rates among comparable nations, and mothers of color are at a far greater risk. Nationally, Black women are dying at 3 to 4 times the rate of white women from complications related to childbirth and experience the highest rate of infant mortality among all racial and ethnic groups[1].

In a recent article by HealthSpark Foundation, Maternity Care Coalition’s (MCC) Early Head Start Senior Director Toscha Blalock, M.S. explains why these disparities exist, “People think disparities are driven by behavior, by health, by other individual factors, but it has really become clear- and research has shown- that it’s not individual behaviors, it’s social determinants of health. It’s the environment, where we work, our neighborhoods, and a number of different things that are impacting these outcomes.”[2]

Read full post here.