The maternal mortality rate in the United States greatly exceeds the maternal mortality rates of other Western countries.



At a recent event in Charlotte on Black maternal health, expert panelists noted several ways to help keep Black women from dying from pregnancy-related conditions: better representation, better understanding of life experiences, and dismantling of internal biases by health care providers.

An eight-person panel comprised of all Black women, working in various roles providing maternal health care, spoke about the current deficiencies in how the health care system provides care to Black women and ways this population can be better served.

“When I’m talking to a medical student and they say to me if a Black woman gets pregnant, she is at higher risk for preterm labor, that may in fact be true. But that’s looking at her Blackness as the risk,” said Pamela Cobb, an OB-GYN in Charlotte. “What we need to say is ‘the life experience of this Black person when she becomes pregnant puts her at risk for delivering this baby early.’”

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