• tawana townsend

Women of Color and Maternal Health

"Why do I have to get ugly to be heard?" was the question demanded by the President and CEO of the Black Women's Health Imperative (BWHI), Linda G. Blount. I recently had the opportunity to hear her speak during a panel series at Arizona State University hosted by their College of Health Solutions and the Center for Race and Democracy.

The "Let's Talk" series focused on tough conversations about topics impacting today's society, with this particular conversation focusing on Maternal Health and Women of Color. I was super excited at how perfect the timing was, considering I was visiting for work and just happened to see the advertised event. Sobering statistics such as "black women are 4 times more likely to die in childbirth" were some of the main reasons I had become more passionate as a doula. What I really liked about the conversation though is that the panel consisted solely of women of color experts in medical and public health fields. Though I didn't agree with every point made, I could understand each panel member's perspective. To me that's a major key.

We must change our perspectives regarding the health of women, how we view pregnancy, childbirth and medical interventions, our country's long history of racism and sexism and increasing community support. I was inspired by the young college students asking thought provoking questions and offering solutions. Some even told poignant stories of of bias, fear and loss.

I felt compelled to return and do more research locally on income inequality and health disparities, the politics and impacts of hospital closures in rural Alabama, healthcare inconsistencies across the state, cultural distrust of doctors and general fear resulting in limited or non-existing prenatal care. Stay connected to DouLaSoul as I delve into and try to change maternal care in Alabama. #HsvDoula #AlabamaMaternity #huntsvilledoula #doulas #blackdoulas #DoulasOfColor #pregnancy #birth #WomenOfColor #BWHI #BlackWomensHealthImperative

#ASU #HealthSolutions

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