black mothers

Jill Sheridan/IPB News.

African American women in Indiana face disparity in healthcare and health outcomes. They are more likely to die during or after childbirth than white women. They have higher rates of breast cancer deaths and diabetes. New research uses theater to shine a spotlight on some of the possible reasons why.

WFYI

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Indiana has one of the nation's worst rates of infant and maternal mortality. Side Effects Public Media teamed up with the Indiana Minority Health Coalition and the Indianapolis Recorder for panel discussions where experts shared insights on how to improve health outcomes for mothers and their children.

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Some doctors see access to birth control as a tool in the fight to decrease maternal and infant mortality. Indiana has one of the nation’s worst rates of new mothers and infants dying, and those rates are even worse for black women.

But a history of abuse has led to distrust of health care professionals in communities of color. 

On Dec. 11, 2018, and Jan. 8, 2019, Side Effects Public Media, the Indianapolis Recorder and the Indiana Minority Health Coalition hosted conversations on how maternal and infant mortality disproportionately impacts communities of color in Indiana.

The panel discussion, moderated by Indianapolis Recorder Editor Oseye Boyd, was split into two parts. The first focused on pregnancy and issues related to delivery, and the second focused on postpartum and infant health.

Missouri Birth Village Offers Black Mothers A Safe Space, Trust And Support

Mar 6, 2019
KAE PETRIN / ST. LOUIS PUBLIC RADIO

Brittany "Tru" Kellman sometimes starts her day two hours before Jamaa Birth Village opens at 10 a.m., stashing diapers and snacks for the dozens of people who will come through the Ferguson nonprofit’s doors. She gives everyone a hug when she meets them.

Jamaa is different from other pregnancy clinics. It provides care for women of color by women of color. After traumatic experiences as a teen mom, Kellman was determined to create a better alternative for black women.

Giving Birth In Indiana Can Be Dangerous. It's Worse If You're Black

Dec 7, 2018
Lauren Bavis/Side Effects Public Media

Ceera Moseby is a first-time mom and due early next year. Her pregnancy has been smooth so far. Still, the young, healthy Indianapolis woman has cause for concern.

“Me being a black woman, I am higher risk for death in that hospital," the 20-year-old said.

On a melancholy Saturday this past February, Shalon Irving's "village" — the friends and family she had assembled to support her as a single mother — gathered at a funeral home in a prosperous black neighborhood in southwest Atlanta to say goodbye.