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Racial Disparities in Maternal Health, A National Crisis: Concordant Perinatal Doulas are Making a Difference

The U.S. has the highest rates of maternal mortality and morbidity among high wealthy countries. And while this needs to be addressed overall, it’s clear that Black birthing people suffer disproportionately high rates. In the U.S., Black birthers and their babies die at 3-4 times the rate of their White counterparts and their babies.

Doulas have been shown to improve birth outcomes. This project’s unique strength is a holistic approach to addressing perinatal morbidity and mortality among Black birthers. Workforce diversity is particularly urgent in supportive care during pregnancy and childbirth. High fees and limited availability of culturally appropriate training have made it very difficult for Black doulas to receive DONA certification.

This unique project is a significant step toward addressing this key equity issue. We have implemented a model to address racial inequities in access to culturally appropriate doula care and in access to Doula certification among Black families.