97 How These Women Are Saving Black Mothers Lives


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At a time when the pace of medical advances can be breathtaking, the rate of maternal death in the United States remains stubbornly high at 14 for every 100,000 live births. The United States is one of only two developed countries whose maternal death rate actually worsened between 1990 and 2015. Unfortunately, African American women have the highest infant mortality rate of any group in the U.S. Why aren't we saving black mothers? Well, it's a matter of poor obstetric practices in the U.S. combined with overt racism. Women are more likely to be dismissed for pain than men. Our pain is often treated as stress or anxiety -- and black women fare worst.

Did you know that black mothers die at three to four times the rate of white mothers? And did you know that black mothers are an astonishingly 243% more likely to die from pregnancy or childbirth-related causes? In a national study of five medical complications that are the common causes for maternal death and injury, African American women in the United States are two to three times more likely to die than a white woman with the same condition.

Today I am thrilled to be joined by a woman that is a student in my course on herbal medicine for women. She is making inroads to changing the culture of birth in the US -- both one mother at a time and on a larger organizational level. Aza Nedhari is a certified professional midwife, family counselor pursuing a PhD in organizational leadership, and the founding executor of Mamatoto's Village, a perinatal support organization in Washington D.C. She has more than 15 years of experience in youth development, reproductive and sexual health, and program development and curriculum design.

Fiercely dedicated to women, Aza is doing something I have never seen before and her model has a real opportunity to create global systemic change. In addition to helping pregnant women identify and work through any needs they may have, teaching women what the mother's role is as a co-creator in the birth process, and tailoring their perinatal program to the mothers' needs, Mamatoto's Village also offers massages for pregnant women, helps these women learn how to grocery shop healthily, and offers overnights and regular checkups for post-partum women.

"We walk that journey with her to have her be in a better place and position than when she walked through the door." - Aza Nedhari

Join Dr. Aviva Romm as she dishes up a weekly dose of the whole truth on health and medicine. To learn more about this episode of Natural MD Radio go to https://avivaromm.com/097

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