Perinatal Health Equity for Indigenous People in the United States

American Indian/Alaska Native birthing people in the United States face profound inequities during and around the time of childbirth. This has long been true and continues to be true, with headline after headline indicating loss of maternity services in rural and tribal communities, workforce shortages, financial challenges, and safety concerns. These and other challenges result in growing disparities in maternal morbidity and mortality, with American Indian/Alaska Native people being at least 3 times more likely to die from a pregnancy-related cause than white people.

Dr. Kozhimannil will discuss these and other barriers to safe and healthy birth for Indigenous people through examination of historical and contemporary factors that shape these inequities. She will also lead participants in looking forward by discussing clinical, public health, and policy efforts that may decrease maternal mortality and improve equity for Indigenous people, including through highlighting positive changes already happening in Indigenous communities across the country.