We at FAM are well aware of the following statistics that were published by the International Center for Traditional Childbearing, the International Cesarean Awareness Network, the Midwives Alliance of North America, and Elephant Circle:
African-American infants have reported higher rates of preterm birth since the CDC began comparing data in 1981.
Despite efforts to improve racial disparities in birth outcomes, African-American infants are more than twice as likely as White infants to die in their first year of life.
African-American pregnant women are nearly four times more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications than are White women.
Racial discrimination serves as a major source of stress for African-American women, and data suggests that the physiological responses to chronic stress may explain the persistent racial disparities in birth outcomes.
Maternal stress affects fetal development and is associated with preterm birth and low birth weight, which increases the risk of disease, disability, and early death over the life-course.
Disparities in poor birth outcomes have lifelong implications for the health and well-being of families and the US population.
This year, the call to increase birth equity and reduce reproductive health disparities in vulnerable communities rings more loudly than ever. The requests that FAM has received for funds to combat health inequity – $80,000- demonstrates that there are dedicated professionals throughout our country ready to answer this call.
Kathleen E Buckley
Harper S Jaroff
Amy J Howell
Thomas J Calvocoressi
Karen S Webster
Emily P Anesta
Justine D Hinderliter
Barbara Katz Rothman