Healthy Births, Healthy Moms: Black Maternal Health in America

Healthy Births, Healthy Moms: Black Maternal Health in America PART 23

In Detroit Hospital, Black Babies Are Latching On

Monday, April 20, 2015

Detroit's Mother Nurture Project connects black mothers with peer breastfeeding counselors who offer support. Here's how this community-oriented approach is helping. The first of two articles.


Healthy Births, Healthy Moms: Black Maternal Health in America

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

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black maternal healthAfrican American families experience the death of a new mother three to four times more often than white families. Public health experts estimate that half of these deaths are avoidable and the ratio has not changed since the 1940s. At the same time, African American mothers' rates of breastfeeding remain relatively low, a missed opportunity to improve the health of mothers and infants. This series explores how the health system influences what is termed "health disparities."

The daily experience of racism in the United States, and its ramifications, are central to each story in the Healthy Births, Health Moms series. For more than five years we have reported on the systemic racism in the care of pregnant African American women; revealing the stories and the data that indicate specific ways that the U.S. health care system fails to provide the evidence-based care, including preventive care, that would improve birth outcomes and support breastfeeding for black women across America.

Through reporting and writing by Women's eNews' team, we have uncovered the central fact that extremely little research is available that would explain the disparities, although pre-existing conditions, income, education and type of insurance coverage have been ruled out. As reporter Belle Taylor McGee wrote: "We simply don't know why black moms die more often."

We also reported that the maternal mortality rate for Texas has quadrupled over the last 15 years to 24.6 out of 100,000 births in 2010, from 6.1 per 100,000 live births in 1996, according to a report last year from the state's Department of Health Services. And we documented that the vast majority of Baby Friendly hospitals in the United States, that is, those certified by the World Health Organization as supportive of breastfeeding, are located in predominately white communities, leaving African American citizens without the maternal health support they need.

This series is made possible with support from the Kellogg Foundation.

Click through to read Women's eNews series on black maternal health series from previous years.

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In The Courts

Trayvon Martin's Killing Wasn't Isolated Incident

Reproductive Health

State-By-State Choice Battle Dividing the Nation


Sloppy Mental-Health Talk Will Intensify Stigma


Black Women Need to Be Heard on Health Issues


Part: 23

In Detroit Hospital, Black Babies Are Latching On

Part: 22

National Initiative Tackles Rising U.S. Maternal Deaths

Part: 21

Simple Language Helps Catch a Killer: Preeclampsia

Part: 20

U.S. Hospitals Hinder Black Women's Breastfeeding

Part: 19

New Twitter Storm Is About Public Breastfeeding

Part: 18

Birthing of Health Care Plan Put Midwives in Limbo

Part: 17

Detroit Moms of Color Gather to Boost Breastfeeding

Part: 16

U.S. Maternal Death Data Held Up by Nine States

Part: 15

Formula Marketers Put Pediatric Academy in the Bag

Part: 14

Testimony: NYC Needs More Data on Maternal Deaths

Part: 13

Closure of Bronx Maternity Ward Stirs Activist Ire

Part: 12

'Baby-Friendly' Hospitals Bypass Black Communities

Part: 11

New York City Pushes Back against Infant Formula

Part: 10

Teen Moms Get 'No Stigma, No Shame' Pep Talk

Part: 9

Task Force on Maternal Deaths in Texas Awaits Governor

Part: 8

U.S. Maternal Health Needs Intense Focus on Moms

Part: 7

Pregnant? Watch Your Risks in Great State of Texas

Part: 6

Reproductive Justice Confers Degrees of Privilege

Part: 5

'We Simply Don't Know' Why Black Moms Die More Often

Part: 4

Black Moms Are Raising Volume on Breastfeeding

Part: 3

Step One: Diversify Ranks of Lactation Consultants

Part: 2

Lactation Consultants Need to Diversify Yesterday

Part: 1

U.S. Health Law May Curb Rising Maternal Deaths