infant mortality

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.

WFYI

Panelists at Side Effects Public Media’s two-part Happier Birth Days conversation answered viewer questions about maternal and infant health disparities in Indiana’s black communities. But there wasn’t time to answer all questions. Indiana State Health Commissioner Dr.

angel4leon/pixabay (CC0)

Across much of the Midwest, maternal and infant death rates are high—especially among African-Americans. So doctors, public health agencies and non-profit organizations are searching for solutions.

Among them is Sistering CU in Champaign-Urbana, Ill. It offers free home visits from trained volunteers to families with babies up to six months in age. It also recently launched a support group for new parents.


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.

On Tuesday, a panel of experts tackled the subject of maternal and infant mortality -- and the unequal burden on African-Americans in Indiana. They dove into a wide range of issues -- from low breast-feeding rates to the implicit bias of some doctors -- and shared some grim statistics.   

Rural Hoosiers Face Long Drives To Reach Prenatal Care

Oct 23, 2018
Zach Herndon, WFIU/WTIU News

Indiana’s maternal and infant mortality rates are far higher than the national average. Experts say one of the reasons is a lack of access to care providers. 

It’s a problem statewide, but it's especially felt in rural areas.

Driving Hours To Reach OB Care 

Deidra Firestone is expecting a child this year. This time, she says she’s blessed with a ‘normal pregnancy.’ But last year, she wasn't so lucky.

Bram Sable-Smith / KBIA/Side Effects Pubic Media

Taja Welton is ready for her daughter to be born. She’s moved into a bigger house, one with room for a nursery. She has a closet full of pink, Minnie Mouse-themed baby clothes. Her baby bag is packed right down to the outfit she plans to bring her baby home in that reads, “The Princess Has Arrived.”

“I can’t wait to put it on her,” Welton smiles. The princess even has a name: Macen.


Six months ago, Melissa Nichols brought her baby girl, Arlo, home from the hospital. And she immediately had a secret.

"I just felt guilty and like I didn't want to tell anyone," says Nichols, who lives in San Francisco. "It feels like you're a bad mom. The mom guilt starts early, I guess."

Across town, first-time mom Candyce Hubbell has the same secret — and she hides it from her pediatrician. "I don't really want to be lectured," she says. "I know what her stance will be on it."

Miles Bryan / WBEZ

Over the past few months, medical professionals on Chicago’s South Side have been trying a new tactic to bring down the area’s infant mortality rate: find women of childbearing age and ask them about everything.

Really, everything.

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