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Why Are Black Mothers Having More Complications During Birth?

Complications during childbirth are always a possibility. However, with proper care they can often be detected and addressed early, or avoided altogether. Unfortunately, not every mother is provided with proper care. Research shows that black mothers are at greater risk of problems during childbirth because of this.

Three Times The Number Of Maternal Deaths

According to an article from NPR, the rate of maternal deaths is three times higher for black women than for white women and women of other races.

In addition to black mothers being at greater risk of dying during childbirth, black babies may be at greater risk of suffering birth injuries, including brain damage, shoulder dystocia, Erb's palsy and cerebral palsy. These are serious conditions that often require lifelong medical care, which is extremely expensive.

The article suggests a variety of issues that have lead to the greater risk for black families. It clarifies that this is not a concern only for low-income families, but that even college-educated, middle and upper class black women are suffering more complications than mothers of other races.

Further, hospitals that are the products of historical segregation may be of lower quality. Even at higher quality facilities though, black families may face unconscious discrimination from staff. This may come in the form of doctors or nurses not listening to the concerns of black mothers, or failing to conduct potentially critical tests. This in turn  could lead to healthcare providers missing the opportunity to address pregnancy complications before they become serious or even deadly.

Every Mother Is Entitled To Respect And High-Quality Care

Every mother, regardless of race, should be  able to expect quality care during pregnancy and childbirth. When that is not provided, when they suffer complications that harm them or their children, they may be able to seek justice by taking action against the careless and negligent medical professionals who failed to do their job.

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