Addressing Disparities in Maternal Care: A Critical Step Towards Ensuring Health Equity

Wayne Ince
ZORA
Published in
3 min readSep 12, 2023

--

Maternal care is a vital aspect of any healthcare system, ensuring the well-being of both expectant mothers and their newborns. Even though the United States is considered a developed nation, it is disheartening to witness the lack of emphasis on maternal care. Maternal care ensures the well-being of both expectant mothers and their newborns, making it a vital aspect of any healthcare system. Even more concerning is the disproportionate impact on Black moms, who meet even more significant risks during pregnancy, labor, and postpartum. The United States must immediately address these glaring disparities in maternal care to ensure that the healthcare system leaves no one behind.

The United States should urgently address disparities in maternal care, as evidenced by its high maternal mortality rate, particularly among Black women. By implementing comprehensive healthcare reforms, expanding access to prenatal and postnatal care, and promoting cultural competency within the healthcare system, we can strive towards health equity for all expectant mothers. Despite being a man, I recognize the importance of maternal care within the African-American community.

The Alarming Maternal Mortality Rate in the United States Currently holds the dubious distinction of having “the highest maternal mortality rate among industrialized nations. “ 1 This shocking reality raises questions about the adequacy and accessibility of maternal care services nationwide. The statistics are alarming when we consider the remarkably high rates among “Black women, three to four times more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications than their white counterparts.2

Identifying the Root Causes of Disparities in Maternal Care

To effectively address disparities in maternal care, it is crucial to understand the root causes behind these inequities. Socioeconomic factors, racial bias, systemic barriers, and inadequate access to quality healthcare are the key contributors to these disparities. By acknowledging and addressing these underlying issues, we can vastly improve maternal care outcomes.

Implementing Comprehensive Healthcare Reforms

One of the primary steps towards rectifying the disparities in maternal care is implementing comprehensive healthcare reforms. The reforms include expanding access to affordable prenatal and postnatal care services, particularly in underserved communities. By ensuring that all women have access to high-quality care throughout their pregnancy, labor, and postpartum period, we can reduce the risk of complications and improve overall maternal health outcomes.

Promoting Cultural Competency within the Healthcare System

Cultural competency plays a crucial role in reducing disparities in maternal care. Healthcare providers must undergo training and education to understand and respect the unique needs and experiences of diverse populations. By promoting cultural sensitivity, healthcare professionals can establish trust and build stronger relationships with expectant mothers, improving the overall quality of care and addressing disparities in maternal health outcomes.

Addressing disparities in maternal care is not just an ethical imperative but also a crucial step toward achieving health equity in the United States. By acknowledging the alarming maternal mortality rates and the disproportionate impact on Black moms, we can implement comprehensive healthcare reforms and promote cultural competency within the healthcare system. I am a man, brother, and son who feels compelled to lend my voice to this critical human topic, having seen the ravaging pain caused and endured by black women. Through these efforts, we can ensure that the healthcare system leaves no one behind or faces inadequate care during pregnancy, labor, and postpartum. The United States must take decisive action now, placing priority on maternal health, and striving for a future where every pregnant woman gets the care and support she deserves.

1.https://www.aafp.org/news/blogs/leadervoices/entry/20201112lv-maternalmortality.html

2. http://robinkelly.house.gov/media-center/in-the-news/inside-fight-end-black-maternal-health-crisis

--

--

Wayne Ince
ZORA

I write about social justice, mental health , politics, and marginalized communities. Founder and Editor of BreakingRanks. PHI THETA KAPPA