Less than 1% of the perinatal work force is BIPOC, and black infants die at higher rates with white doctors. Additionally, the US has the worse maternal health outcomes among developed nations where black women die 243% more than white women. Rural areas almost double in death rates where a high number of hospitals have closed and continue to close.
Birth Detroit is a perfect example of perinatal services and care that is accessible and safe in a materno-toxic location. Most of the US is dangerous for black women to give birth because of systemic racism, and therefore regardless of social economics, location, and health care coverage – for every black woman there are no zip codes that are not materno-toxic. Birth Detroit and other PSS are the solution to improving outcomes. Furthermore, quality assurance accreditation for those PSS that meet all the requirements, is how we move forward with a national model and higher standards. The current system doesn’t work and this is exactly the revamping that is needed.
Black-led organizations and leadership is the only solution to this long overdue end to maternal and infant death. We need this diversity in the perinatal workforce where various skill-levels and scope of practice is recognized, funded, licensed, and accessible. From doulas and the Certified Maternal Child Community Health Worker, to midwives and doctors. All hands on deck to end this madness! Over 30 years with an increasing maternal death rate when all other developed nations are lower and taking real steps forward, is unacceptable.
“You reconfirmed that collective care, collective leadership and just plain COURAGE gets the job done. Grateful thanks to each and every one of you that has caused this absolute miracle to take place in the heart of Detroit. You are on your way to becoming our first nationally accredited EASY ACCESS CLINIC – The JJ WayⓇ. I couldn’t be more excited – congrats!!” – Jennie Joseph