Research on Racism and Maternal Health
In the days following George Floyd’s murder, I had the honor of connecting with Ihotu Ali, MPH, LMT, CLC, an EBB Professional Member and the co-founder of the Minnesota Healing Justice Network, about their work on the front lines in Minneapolis. Ihotu and other members of the Minnesota Healing Justice Network, including Daniela Montoya-Barthelemy, MPH; Shayla Walker; Rhonda Fellow, CD (DONA), EBB Instructor; and Jennifer Almanza, DNP, APRN, CNM, made the following suggestion:
EBB should work to make the research evidence on racism and maternal health more readily accessible to our audience.
We greatly appreciate the suggestion from the members of the Minnesota Healing Justice Network. Moving forward you can expect EBB to regularly share especially poignant research findings about Black maternal health.
Please remember that *RACISM* and white supremacy are the cause of any racial disparities. And remember that there ARE known solutions… Black midwives, Black doulas, and Black nurses hold the key!! Black midwives such as Jennie Joseph and Uzazi Village and Mamatoto Village and Jamaa Birth Village, and San Antonio Nurse Midwife, among so many others, are living proof that we can eliminate and reduce disparities under their leadership. Read and share the research, but recognize the opportunities for justice and equity.
Source: Giscombé, C. L. and Lobel, M. (2005). Explaining Disproportionately High Rates of Adverse Birth Outcomes Among African Americans: The Impact of Stress, Racism, and Related Factors in Pregnancy. Psychological Bulletin, 131(5), 662-683. Click here.
Gyamfi-Bannerman, C., Srinivas, S. K., Wright, J. D., et al. (2018). Postpartum hemorrhage outcomes and race. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 219(2), 185.e1–185.e10. Source.
Webinars & Online Courses
- Dr. Traci Baxley at Social Justice Parenting: @socialjusticeparenting on Instagram
- Podcast interview with Dr. Traci Baxley on the Melanated Conversations podcast
- Prism Behavior podcast, Episodes 55 and 56, click here
- The Center for Racial Justice and Education has compiled a list of resources for talking with kids about race, racism, and racialized violence (includes many resources designed for kids of color)
- PBS has a comprehensive list of resources for parents talking with young children about racism
- NY Times list of books for children
Birth Justice Organizations
On this page, you can find an ongoing list of both local and national birth justice organizations led by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. We encourage you to follow and support these organizations in whatever way you can. If you wish to add a local birth justice organization to this list, please use the contact form below.
Black Mamas Matter Alliance | Visit
Black Mamas ATX | Visit
National Association to Advance Black Birth | Visit
National Black Midwives Alliance | Visit
National Black Doulas Association™ | Visit
National Birth Equity Collaborative | Visit
Southern Birth Justice Network | Visit
Sister Song | Visit
Black Women Birthing Justice | Visit
California: Diversity Uplifts | Visit
California: For the Village | Visit
California: SisterWeb San Francisco Community Doula Network | Visit
Hawai’i: Birth Professionals of Oahu | Visit
Illinois: Chicago Birthworks Collective | Visit
Illinois: Chicago Volunteer Doulas | Visit
Illinois: HealthConnect One | Visit
Kentucky: Louisville Doula Project | Visit
Louisana: Community Birth Companion | Visit
Louisana: Birthmark Doulas | Visit
Massachusetts: MA COVID-19 Perinatal Coalition | Visit
Michigan: Mothering Justice | Visit
Minnesota: MN Healing Justice Network | Visit
Missouri: Jamaa Birth Village | Visit
Missouri: Uzazi Village | Visit
New York: Ancient Song Doula Services | Visit
New York: Cihuapahtli Matriarch Council | Visit
North Carolina: SistasCaring4Sistas | Visit
Rhode Island: Our Journ3i | Visit
Tennessee: Choices: Memphis Center for Reproductive Health | Visit
Tennessee: Homeland Heart Birth & Wellness Collective | Visit
Texas: Re+Birth Equity Alliance | Visit
Texas: Giving Austin Labor Support | Visit
Texas: The Natural Way Birthing Project ~ Fort Worth | Visit
Virginia: Urban Baby Beginnings| Visit
Washington D.C. Mamatoto Village | Visit
A Personal Message From Rebecca
Reading the news these days, I continue to be horrified that the country I live in still brutalizes and murders people with Black bodies. My heart goes out to all of you who are suffering and grieving and reliving trauma right now. The fact that these things still happen and are covered up in the year 2020 is an absolute travesty.
Racism in the U.S. doesn’t just take the form of murder. It also significantly impacts maternal health outcomes (leading to 3-4 times higher death rates for Black mothers and babies), as well as creates racial injustices everywhere we live and work and educate our children.
Below are Evidence Based Birth® resources I wanted to share with you, as you continue anti-racism and birth justice work.
My Responsibility As A White Woman
This is a personal video message about my responsibilities as a white woman. I recorded this message in the days following George Floyd’s murder. You can watch that message in the embedded video below, or on our Instagram Stories Highlights under ‘Responsibilities’ at our Instagram page @ebbirth.
Chapter 8: Woke - from Babies Are Not Pizzas
Read Chapter 8 of Rebecca’s book, Babies Are Not Pizzas, which addresses the negative impact of racism on maternity care. This chapter falls in the middle of the book, and so the middle of Rebecca’s journey through becoming awakened to the many systemic and structural issues our healthcare system faces.
The EBB Podcasts, featuring BIPOC guests
Hear stories and experiences from BIPOC guests on the Evidence Based Birth® Podcast.
- EBB 130 – Home Birth in the Black Community with Isis Rose
- EBB 126 – Finding the right provider, and birth in the Dominican Republic with Leiko Hidaka
- EBB 124 – Health disparities, Advocacy, and the Coronavirus with Sabia Wade
- EBB 112 – How Evidence Based Birth®️ Changed Me as a Nurse with Jessica Hazboun
- EBB 108 – EBB Conference Series: Birth Workers of Color
- EBB 105 – Perspectives on the Evidence Based Birth Conference with Heather Thompson and Dr. Sayida Peprah
- EBB 103 – Identifying Areas for Social Justice with Danielle Jackson
- EBB 100 – Community Specific Birth Support with Ngozi Tibbs
- EBB 98 – Inside a Husband/Wife Childbirth Team with Tia and Dr. Wale Ajao
- EBB 95 – The State of Birth Work in NYC with Denise Bolds
- EBB 92 – Impacts of the Community Birth Worker Model with Aza Nedhari
- EBB 85 – The power of a well-planned birth – of twins!
- EBB 79 – Life of a Doula Part 1 – from cesarean to VBAC
- EBB 74 – Hearing Black Moms’ Voices in the Birth World with Michelle Gabriel-Caldwell
- EBB 73 – Learn all about the hospitalist role with Dr. Nicole Rankins
- EBB 66 – Empowering Birth in Underserved Populations with CNM Olivia Favela-Gary
- EBB 65 – Navigating the Hospital Birth System with Midwife Afua Hassan
- EBB 57 – Connecting the birth community in Hawai’i with Courtney Carangian
- EBB 56 – Listening to Black Midwives: Ms. Charlotte Shilo-Goudeau
- EBB 53 – Reaching Underserved Populations with Education and Doula Support
- EBB 52 – What role should men play in birth?