Joli Hunt

Publication Date



racial inequality, health, women




The chance of a Black woman dying in the US due to complications relating to pregnancy or childbirth is 2 to 3 times more than a White woman in the US-a disparity large enough to cause the national maternal mortality rate to increase at a steady rate. Challenges influencing this problem include implicit racial bias within the healthcare system that causes negligence, a lack of standardized healthcare to provide quality care in all parts of the US, and the stress caused by systemic racism and its effect on Black female bodies. Maternal death has detrimental effects on Black families and children by increasing the premature and infant death rate and the amount of motherless Black families. Practices providing external mental and physical support before, during, and after childbirth are best exemplified by local doula organizations such as the By My Side Birth Support Program in New York. Public health policy is also being researched and supported by organizations such as The National Partnership for Women and Families in Washington D.C. to pass bills in support of reproductive care rights and other familial issues in government. California is an example with its recent hospital protocols to prepare for complications during childbirth.