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Take Care. Be Well.

April


 Black Maternal Week is in April starting April 11, 2024 to April 17, 2024. The week serves as an opportunity to raise awareness about the unique challenges faced by Black mothers and to advocate for policies and practices that address disparities in maternal health outcomes. The theme for Black Maternal Health Week 2024 is "Our Bodies STILL Belong to US: Reproductive Justice NOW"

As of January 2022, black women in the United States experience maternal mortality rates that are approximately  three to four times higher than those of white women, according to the Center for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC). Research suggests that black mothers often receive suboptimal care during pregnancy and childbirth due to systemic biases and disparities within the healthcare system.

Studies have found evidence of healthcare provider's implicit biases leading to disparities in pain management, decision- making, and overall quality of care for black mothers. This can result in healthcare providers disregarding black mothers reported level of pain or failing to adequately listen and address their needs.

Addressing implicit, increasing cultural competency among healthcare providers, and promoting diversity and inclusion within healthcare settings are essential steps toward ensuring equitable care for all mothers, regardless of race or ethnicity.

Doula's are an alternative from traditional healthcare 

Doulas are trained professionals who provide continuous physical, emotional, and informational support to mothers before, during, and shortly after childbirth to help them achieve the healthiest, most satisfying experience possible. This support can include providing comfort with pain-relief techniques, offering emotional support, and facilitating communication between the mother and healthcare providers. Doulas play a crucial role in improving maternal and infant health outcomes, particularly in reducing the rates of medical interventions, such as cesarean sections, and increasing the likelihood of a positive childbirth experience.

Doulas play an essential role in the childbirth process, offering support, information, and guidance to expecting families. If you're interested in either receiving support from a doula during your childbirth journey or in becoming a doula yourself, there's a valuable resource available through NYC's Citywide Doula Initiative. This initiative, part of a broader effort to improve maternal health and birth outcomes, provides information on how to access doula services or receive training to become a doula. By visiting the official page at https://www.nyc.gov/site/doh/health/health-topics/citywide-doula-initiative.page, individuals can find comprehensive details on the initiative.

The Citywide Doula Initiative aims to make doula support more accessible to expecting families, recognizing the positive impact that such support can have on the childbirth experience.

  • Doulas offer non-medical support, including emotional support, physical comfort measures, and informational guidance throughout pregnancy, labor, and the postpartum period.

  • Their role is to help families have a more informed, empowered, and positive birthing experience.

  • For those interested in this path, the initiative's training component offers an opportunity to develop the necessary skills and knowledge to support families during one of the most significant times in their lives.

Accessing the NYC Government's official page on the Citywide Doula Initiative is an excellent first step for anyone looking to explore the world of doulas, whether as a client or as a prospective doula. The page provides essential information on the services offered, the benefits of doula support, training opportunities, and how to get involved. This initiative not only highlights the importance of doulas in the childbirth process but also provides a pathway for individuals to contribute positively to maternal and infant health in their communities.

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