Mothers deserve better, March of Dimes can help

by on

Mothers deserve better, March of Dimes can help
tjordan_drupal
Nov 6, 2020

There are so many statistics being shared related to maternal mortality in the United States — but what is the real story?

You’ve likely read that every year, more than 700 women die from pregnancy- and delivery-related complications; and another 50,000 women suffer severe health problems related to pregnancy.[1]

You may also know that childbirth is even more dangerous for communities of color who are disproportionately impacted by maternal mortality and morbidity. For example, Black women with a college degree are FIVE times more likely to die from pregnancy-related deaths than their white counterparts.[2] 

These numbers are alarming enough. What you may not know, however, is that the rate at which Black women are disproportionately impacted has not changed since the 1940s.[3] The disproportionate impact we see today has existed for more than 80 years.

And behind each of those numbers are entire families who have had their lives shattered. What should have been a most joyous moment, the welcoming of a new life, turns to a devastating tragedy, losing a mother, partner, daughter and sister. In October, the television news program, ABC Nightline, aired a special episode called “Hear Her Voice,” an intimate portrait of how maternal mortality affects the Black community. The show shared that Black women experience discrimination when accessing maternal care, and described the realities of how racism impacts health outcomes for Black mothers.

We cannot wait any longer to address longstanding inequities in maternal care. We must do better for our mothers of color. One way that hospitals and health systems can begin to right this inequity is by offering care that is free of implicit bias, or the attitudes and stereotypes that affect an individual’s understanding, actions and decisions in an unconscious manner.

We are pleased to share with you a unique in-person and virtual learning experience developed by March of Dimes, “Breaking through Bias in Maternity Care.” It provides authentic, compelling content specifically for health care providers who are caring for women before, during and after pregnancy.

We believe this training can equip health care providers with important insights to recognize and remedy implicit bias. It also will prompt conversations among team members that would not have occurred otherwise. These actions can result in improved patient-provider communication, overall patient experience and quality of care, and a culture shift across committed organizations towards the broader goal of achieving equity in care outcomes for all moms and babies.

The March of Dimes implicit bias training is only the first step. We encourage hospitals and health systems to use it as a starting point to foster an environment where women are encouraged to speak out and be heard by their care teams. It can also serve to promote increased data analysis, the creation of inclusive processes and procedures, and investments in programs that support women of color.

In the coming months the AHA will share additional resources to improve maternal mortality and morbidity through our Better Health for Mothers and Babies effort.

No professional caregiver sets out to treat a patient unfairly, with bias, prejudice or guided by negative cultural stereotypes. But it can happen inadvertently, unrecognized for what it really is. That is why it’s so important to address implicit bias proactively.

Has your hospital taken steps to reduce implicit bias and improve equity for mothers before, during or after pregnancy? If so, we want to hear about it. Contact us at pbathija@aha.org.

Robyn Begley, DNP, R.N., is AHA senior vice president and chief nursing officer and CEO of the American Organization for Nursing Leadership. Priya Bathija, JD, MHSA, serves as AHA’s vice president of strategic initiatives. Together, they lead the association’s efforts on maternal and child health. 

 


[3] NCHS. Maternal Mortality and Related Concepts. Vital & Health Statistics. Series 33; #3. & annual data reports. 1915-1960 data from NCHS. Vital Statistics Rates In The United States 1940-1960. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/series/sr_03/sr03_033.pdf.

 

Robyn Begley and Priya Bathija
Blog

Mothers deserve better, March of Dimes can help
tjordan_drupal
Nov 6, 2020

There are so many statistics being shared related to maternal mortality in the United States — but what is the real story? You’ve likely read that every year, more than 700 women die from pregnancy- and delivery-related complications; and another 50,000 women suffer severe health problems related to pregnancy.[1]You may also know that childbirth is even more dangerous for communities of color who are disproportionately impacted by maternal mortality and morbidity. For example, Black women with a college degree are FIVE times more likely to die from pregnancy-related deaths than their white counterparts.[2] These numbers are alarming enough. What you may not know, however, is that the rate at which Black women are disproportionately impacted has not changed since the 1940s.[3] The disproportionate impact we see today has existed for more than 80 years. And behind each of those numbers are entire families who have had their lives shattered. What should have been a most joyous moment, the welcoming of a new life, turns to a devastating tragedy, losing a mother, partner, daughter and sister. In October, the television news program, ABC Nightline, aired a special episode called “Hear Her Voice,” an intimate portrait of how maternal mortality affects the Black community. The show shared that Black women experience discrimination when accessing maternal care, and described the realities of how racism impacts health outcomes for Black mothers.We cannot wait any longer to address longstanding inequities in maternal care. We must do better for our mothers of color. One way that hospitals and health systems can begin to right this inequity is by offering care that is free of implicit bias, or the attitudes and stereotypes that affect an individual’s understanding, actions and decisions in an unconscious manner. We are pleased to share with you a unique in-person and virtual learning experience developed by March of Dimes, “Breaking through Bias in Maternity Care.” It provides authentic, compelling content specifically for health care providers who are caring for women before, during and after pregnancy. We believe this training can equip health care providers with important insights to recognize and remedy implicit bias. It also will prompt conversations among team members that would not have occurred otherwise. These actions can result in improved patient-provider communication, overall patient experience and quality of care, and a culture shift across committed organizations towards the broader goal of achieving equity in care outcomes for all moms and babies.The March of Dimes implicit bias training is only the first step. We encourage hospitals and health systems to use it as a starting point to foster an environment where women are encouraged to speak out and be heard by their care teams. It can also serve to promote increased data analysis, the creation of inclusive processes and procedures, and investments in programs that support women of color. In the coming months the AHA will share additional resources to improve maternal mortality and morbidity through our Better Health for Mothers and Babies effort.No professional caregiver sets out to treat a patient unfairly, with bias, prejudice or guided by negative cultural stereotypes. But it can happen inadvertently, unrecognized for what it really is. That is why it’s so important to address implicit bias proactively.
Has your hospital taken steps to reduce implicit bias and improve equity for mothers before, during or after pregnancy? If so, we want to hear about it. Contact us at pbathija@aha.org.

Robyn Begley, DNP, R.N., is AHA senior vice president and chief nursing officer and CEO of the American Organization for Nursing Leadership. Priya Bathija, JD, MHSA, serves as AHA’s vice president of strategic initiatives. Together, they lead the association’s efforts on maternal and child health. 

 

[1] https://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/maternal-mortality/disparities-pregnancy-related-deaths/infographic.html

[2] https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/68/wr/mm6835a3.htm?s_cid=mm6835a3_w

[3] NCHS. Maternal Mortality and Related Concepts. Vital & Health Statistics. Series 33; #3. & annual data reports. 1915-1960 data from NCHS. Vital Statistics Rates In The United States 1940-1960. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/series/sr_03/sr03_033.pdf.

 

Robyn Begley and Priya Bathija

Maternal and Child Health
Disparities/Equity of Care

Blog

VA:F [1.9.7_1111]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VA:F [1.9.7_1111]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: