CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The reasons that have led to what the Centers for Disease Control is calling the crisis facing Black Mothers in America are wide-ranging.
As we continue our special look at black maternal health during the national Black Maternal Health week, we recognized through poring over pages of research and talking to black mothers, birth advocates and doctors that there are areas of concern.
We are taking a look at the rise in black doulas, which are birth companions for the expectant mother and her family. It’s a non-medical liaison designed to be the mother’s advocate in the event that she’s unable to speak for herself or uncomfortable voicing her issue with her maternal care.
In addition, we will be taking a look at racial bias in medical care. It has a long history, particularly for African-Americans, and for the first time researchers are looking at the role it plays in the Black maternal mortality rate. We also got unprecedented access to an all-black, all-female obstetrics and gynecology practice in southeast Charlotte. There, we explored why many Black mothers opt to see doctors who look like them as a way to ensure they get the care they want and need.
Finally, we are also going to share one local mother’s story. She’s currently pregnant with her second child – despite the harrowing complications she and her team of doctors navigated during the birth of her first child. She’s also high risk – not only because of her age, but also because she suffers from chronic hypertension unrelated to pregnancy.
The video of above is a compilation of all the interviews I conducted for my series on Black Maternal Health. It gives a good look at the challenges facing black mamas, birth advocates and the doctors that care for them.
MONDAY: We delve into the rise of black doulas and why one mother-daughter doula team believes diversifying the field could help stem the tide of the current black maternal mortality rate.