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"Black Women Face More Trauma During Childbirth" - Catherine Pearson

  • Huffington Post
  • New York, NY
  • (June 18, 2018)

According to the most recent CDC data, white women in America experience just under 13 deaths per every 100,000 live births; for black women, it’s more like 44 deaths per 100,000. And the United States is an outlier among other wealthy countries in that our maternal mortality rates continue to trend upward at the same time that every other developed nation in the world has managed to lower theirs. Maternal death has become a full-blown public health crisis that has finally begun to garner mainstream attention.  Nationally, just under three-quarters of black women deliver in roughly one-quarter of this country’s hospitals — and those hospitals tend to have much higher rates of severe complications. By contrast, only 18 percent of white women deliver in those hospitals, said Elizabeth Howell, MD, director of the Blavatnik Family Women’s Health Research Institute at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai – who led that research. “Part of the disparity that we’re becoming aware of, and hearing more and more about, is because black women are delivering in different hospitals,” she said. “We can actually think about quality improvement in hospitals as an important way to reduce disparities.”

- Elizabeth Howell, MD, MPP, Professor, Population Health Science and Policy, Psychiatry, Schizophrenia, Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Science, Associate Dean, Academic Development, Director, The Blavatnik Family Women’s Health Research Institute, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

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