Black Maternal Health 

In this episode, Parenting for Liberation spoke with two powerful Black women–Melissa Franklin, a Pritkzer Fellow, and Brandi Sims, a doula and Program Officer–working on the frontlines with First 5 LA to partner with DPH and lead L.A. County’s collaborative effort to reduce the Black infant and maternal mortality gap. They both joined to talk about a current epidemic of Black mothers who are largely exposed to racial bias from health care professionals during childbirth. The episode delves deeper into issues of Black maternal and infant health, with each of the Black women sharing their own personal experience with maternal health ranging from miscarriage to preterm birth and how our own traumatic experience fueled our collective passions to make a change in society related to issues of maternal health. 

Key topics in this episode include: 

  • How racial disparities are directly correlated to maternal mortality rates as the CDC reports that black women are 3.3 times were likely than white women to suffer a pregnancy-related death. 
  • How common notions regarding factors such as age, income, and education being related to Black mothers experiencing birthing challenges are false. 
  • How the attitudes and behaviors of health care professionals towards Black mothers largely impact the lives of both Black mothers and their babies. 
  • How organizations such as National Birth Equity Collaborative, and the group Black Mamas Matter Alliance  are educating the public to tackle racial disparities and institutional racism in the public health aspect. 
  • The impact California State Senator Holly Mitchell has made pertaining to Black maternal health.
  • How racial disparities in maternal deaths is impacting the country on a national scale with involvement from the California Department of Public, politicians and lawmakers across the nations. 
  • Ways in which California Governor Newsom is implementing change for a successful and healthy life for Black babies, mothers, and families overall. 
  • Various forms of solutions such as Doulas to address racial disparities in maternal health and newborn health as well as programs such as Home Visitation and how it can benefit Black mothers and families.

To learn more about the incredible work of Black women working to end black infant and maternal mortality visit:

Upcoming Event: California Birth Equity Summit on Nov 18, 2019

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