Black women are still dying of childbirth in 2022. Why?
Black women in Los Angeles County are four times more likely to die from pregnancy and its complications than women of any other race. In one of the richest countries in the world, black mothers are dying of preventable causes at a rate that continues to rise.
With all the medical and technological advances over the years, you would think that the topic of maternal health would be low on the list of health inequalities that affect the African-American community. But it’s not like that. Unacceptably poor maternal health outcomes are the leading cause of death for black women and have been a constant burden on our women for generations through no fault of our own. These results are largely due to institutional racism.
As a black mother, activist and practicing nurse, I want better for us! We are queens and we deserve to live as such. But before we can do better, we need to know better. And it starts with identifying why pregnancy-related mortality is so high for black women. Racism and lack of access and knowledge of resources play a huge role in contributing to persistent health inequalities in our community. When the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that pregnancy-related deaths for black college graduates were five times higher than for white women with similar education, it was also clear that status and education did not matter.
To address the lack of access and knowledge of resources in our community, Planned Parenthood Los Angeles (PPLA) meets with our women where we live, work and play, providing us with services at their newest health center, Inglewood. This place also serves as the flagship of the Black Health Initiative, an agency-wide program designed to improve the overall well-being of our communities by enabling us to stand up for ourselves for better health outcomes.
The Black Health Initiative works to improve the health of black mothers by providing guidance on dealing with chronic conditions before, during and after pregnancy, recognizing basic social needs that affect health, and connecting patients with the resources and programs needed to flourishing.
As a practicing nurse at PPLA, I am proud to be part of a team that understands that providing patient-centered reproductive and sexual health care with dignity and respect is crucial to improving maternal health and addressing differences. faced by black women.
Inglewood Health Center strengthens PPLA’s commitment to providing our community with the resources it needs to address health inequalities by offering prenatal care, doula services, behavioral health services, contraceptive counseling, birth control, and more. For services that are not offered in the health center, patients are directed to additional care that is accessible, culturally specific and maintains overall health and well-being.
I urge you to share this information with the women in your life. We want black women to feel comfortable knowing that there are people who care for them and their unborn child, and they have the right to feel safe and receive the best care available to all women. They can learn more about the Black Health Initiative and Inglewood Health Center by visiting 905 N. La Brea Ave. or call 800-576-5544.
The alarming number of deaths of black women during childbirth and after childbirth continues in 2022. We need real, systematic change that provides access to health care in the environments where we live and work, and which are fairer and more responsible of our needs. Only then will black women be able to achieve optimal health equality.
Kara James is a nurse practitioner at Planned Parenthood Los Angeles.
Black Women Are Still Dying from Childbirth in 2022. Why? – Los Angeles Sentinel | Los Angeles Sentinel Source link Black Women Are Still Dying from Childbirth in 2022. Why? – Los Angeles Sentinel | Los Angeles Sentinel