Building an Authentic Community of Practice


Final Blog Post

 Maternal mortality is a complex issue influenced by a variety of factors. This issue is most prevalent amongst Black women, who have the highest maternal mortality rate compared to any other race in America. 

      Delving deeper into the issue at hand, the people who directly influence the Black mothers’ mortality rate are healthcare professionals. “Black women are three times more likely to die from a pregnancy-related cause than White women. Multiple factors contribute to these disparities, such as variation in quality healthcare, underlying chronic conditions, structural racism, and implicit bias.” ( Today’s healthcare field is predominantly catered to white patients seeing as only 5% of doctors are Black and many/all practicing physicians are not taught to handle and understand unconscious, racial bias in their own field of work. For the rest of the 95% of physicians that make up the non-Black population of doctors, most are blind and unknowing of how to handle the health risks of expectant Black mothers and cannot provide equal, quality care to patients. 

Low-income and Black-communties are the highest at risk when it comes to the issue of raised mortality rates. According to Yale Medicine, some Black women can suffer from what is called an “allostatic load” which is the effect of constant, chronic stress that can age a woman, biologically, by ten years. Added with structural racism, variation of quality healthcare, and implicit/unconscious bias, Black women are in unjustably at risk when pregnant/givng birth. 

Being a white woman, I do not have a direct relation to Black maternal mortality, but it is important to be using my own privilege to raise awareness on the subject. As a woman, it is important to me that all women, no matter class, race, or ethnicity, are receiving the same quality medical care. After centuries in medical advancements, there should not be discrepancies in medical care, especially in something as simple as childbirth and pregnancy. All women should have equal access to quality medical care without bias, lack of education, and lack of training. Since I do have the privilege of having access to medical care, it is essential that I advocate for those who are unable to have the same medical care. 

The issue of Black maternal mortality is complex, but there are simple ways that healthcare and medical professionals can begin to address and work on these issues. By addressing the unconscious bias towards Black women, physicians can begin to break down systemic racism in the medical field when dealing with any and all medical issues. Additionally, focusing on training physicians and other healthcare workers for cultural competence and working with Obstetric doctors in order to work against racial disparity in maternal mortality. Ignorance and blindness to this issue is preventing the advancement of medicine for Black Women, an overall training and re-education within these fields can majorly reduce and improve the Black maternal mortality rate in America.

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