Doulas To Improve Poor Birth Outcomes For Black Moms

Last year, the International Center for Traditional Childbearing partnered with Portland State University and launched a survey to dig into the puzzling statistics of black moms and relating poor birth outcomes in Oregon. Babies born to black mothers in an unnamed Oregon area, are typically born under weight with high birth mortality rates. This research is considered ground-breaking as it's the first of it's kind in Oregon, a state with one of the highest breast feeding rate in the nation.  Two hundred and forty-five African-American women were surveyed.

The goal of the survey for ICTC was to show how doulas can improve birth outcomes for African-American women.

“We have seen birth outcomes for both the mother and baby improve when Black women have access to affordable doula services,” she (Monroe) said. “This is the type of community-based, direct healthcare service that can lead to big changes and ultimately equity in how Black women are treated throughout the birth process.”
Key ICTC survey findings include:
- Nearly two-thirds of women did not attend birth education classes prior to delivery;
- Nearly one-third of women were concerned about their treatment during the birth of their baby;
- The majority of women surveyed have government-paid health insurance coverage;
- Over half of the women surveyed were single;
- Only 25 percent of Black women were still breastfeeding their babies at six months, compared to over 60 percent for Oregon moms overall (the national average is 40 percent). Read More
Currently, AA statics on infant mortality stands at 8.6 compared to 4.9 for Whites and Hispanics.

These statistics are a travesty. They speak to the lonesome condition many black women find themselves in. While doulas (midwives too) are undoubtedly a viable solution to this problem, the real solution is what doulas represent, love and support. Two very important needs every gestating mom needs to thrive.

Why Black Women Need Midwives 
Black Breast Feeding Moms: Without A Community?



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