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CGE Celebrates February’s Black History Month

As we celebrate Black History Month, it is crucial to shed light on the persistent disparities that exist in maternal health outcomes for women of color, particularly in comparison to theirCaucasian counterparts. Maternal health is a critical aspect of a woman’s overall well-being, andthe alarming statistics surrounding pregnancy-related complications and mortality rates reveal astark contrast between racial and ethnic groups in the United States.

Recent studies and reports have consistently highlighted the glaring disparities in maternal health outcomes for women of color. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC), African American and Indigenous women are two to three times more likely to die frompregnancy-related causes than Caucasian women. Hispanic women also face an increased risk,with mortality rates 1.5 times higher than those of Caucasian women. These statistics extendbeyond maternal mortality and encompass a range of complications and adverse outcomes duringpregnancy and childbirth. African American women are more likely to experience preterm birth,low birth weight, and other complications that can have lasting impacts on the health of bothmother and child.

Understanding the root causes of these disparities is essential for implementing effectivesolutions. Structural racism, socio-economic factors, and systemic barriers contributesignificantly to the inequities in maternal health outcomes. African American women, inparticular, often face higher rates of poverty, limited access to quality healthcare, anddiscrimination within the healthcare system. Discrimination within the healthcare system is asignificant factor influencing maternal health disparities. Studies have shown that AfricanAmerican women are more likely to experience dismissive attitudes, inadequate communication,and suboptimal care during pregnancy and childbirth. Implicit biases among healthcare providerscan contribute to delayed or insufficient medical intervention, leading to adverse outcomes forAfrican American women. To address these disparities, a multifaceted approach is necessary.Initiatives must focus on dismantling systemic racism, improving access to quality healthcare,and enhancing cultural competence within the healthcare workforce. Cultural-specificcommunity-based programs that provide education, support, and resources for African Americanwomen can also play a crucial role in promoting positive maternal health outcomes.

At The Center for Great Expectations, we focus on maternal health for pregnant or parentingwomen and adolescent girls recognizing the need for individual treatment based on culture,personal histories, and challenges faced by the women. Treatment plans are created based onthese differences to provide the best options and optimum outcomes for each client.

Policy changes are essential to address the broader societal issues contributing to maternal health disparities. Adequate funding for maternal health programs, expansion of Medicaid, andimplementation of policies promoting equity in healthcare delivery are steps that cansignificantly impact.

Black History Month serves as a reminder to reflect on the progress and challenges that persist.Maternal health disparities for women of color demand urgent attention and collective action. Byacknowledging the systemic issues contributing to these disparities and implementingcomprehensive strategies, we can strive towards a future where every woman, regardless of herracial or ethnic background, can experience a healthy and positive pregnancy and childbirthjourney. Through these collective efforts, we can bridge the gap in maternal health outcomes andensure a brighter and healthier future for all.

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