Despite spending more money per capita on maternal-child health efforts than any country worldwide, the United States (US) is the only high-resource nation with a steadily increasing mortality rate; and notable disparities by race and ethnicity.
The brunt of this burden is bore by Black and Indigenous women—where the risk is 2-3 times higher than their non-Hispanic white counterparts to die from complications of pregnancy and birth. In 2020 alone, the US maternal mortality rate was 23.8 deaths per 100,000 live births, with 861 deaths attributable to maternal causes such as hemorrhage and cardiovascular conditions.
These statistics paint a grim picture of not only the increased risk faced by persons of color but the condition of our health system. The time to implement equitable solutions is now. Black mothers can’t wait.
We had the honor of discussing these disturbing realities with Jemea Dorsey, the CEO of Center for Black Women’s Wellness – nonprofit supporting communities in Atlanta, Georgia.