We have something to SAY, & I'm here for it...
What would they say?
The stories in this book illuminate the need for sweeping changes to address racial inequities in America's maternal health care system. While detailing the cultural complexities of the Black birthing experience, these mothers' accounts point toward some clear imperatives. Their voices call each of us to action.
To Black women and families: share your pregnancy and birthing stories far and wide. Your lived experience is your expertise. Only by shedding light on injustices can we spur reform.
To healthcare providers: pursue cultural competency training, confront implicit biases, and listen intently to the needs of Black mothers. Work vigorously to earn rather than demand trust.
To hospital administrators: invest in diversity initiatives, implement anti-racism education, and conduct ongoing audits for racial disparities. Promote transparency and accountability at every level.
To policymakers: expand Medicaid coverage for doulas and midwives. Increase funding for community-based maternal health programs. Pass legislation to standardize anti-racism protocols in maternity care.
To insurers: enact reimbursement policies covering culturally competent, patient-centered care models. Incentivize group prenatal education tailored for Black women.
To researchers: center qualitative, community-engaged methods examining racism's impact on pregnancy and birth. Rigorously document discriminatory policies and practices.
To educators: mandate Black maternal health history across medical school and nursing curricula. Develop comprehensive training on structural competency and anti-racism in clinical practice.
To all readers: join or donate to organizations fighting for maternal justice. Vote at every level for candidates prioritizing health equity. Use your privileges to amplify Black women's voices in the rooms where policies take shape.
The path ahead is long, but the destination is just. Each of us has a role to play in righting these wrongs.
Will we rise to meet this call?
Black lives – and Black birthing experiences – matter.
It is time to act.
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What we have to Say...
"I have been waiting for someone to say it for years. Looking at what my my own mother and others in the family have gone through in the healthcare system here in the states. I’ve definitely seen the difference in care.."