COLORADO SPRINGS — Every expecting mom hopes for a healthy baby and a healthy delivery but for some moms, delivering a baby is far more dangerous.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, black moms are up to three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white moms. They are also twice as likely to suffer from severe complications during pregnancy and birth.
Medical experts across the country have known about this disparity for a while, but new research is showing that this problem doesn't just boil down to the differences in women's healthcare. According to this study, women of color had a significantly higher risk of developing life-threatening birth complications like seizures, blood clots, and hemorrhages.
Researchers also found that women of color had a significantly higher risk of developing life-threatening birth complications than white women, even in the same hospitals. Officials with the Department of Health and Human Services, and the CDC both did the research and they found differences in health insurance, economic status, and other outside factors had little to no impact.
"Even when you account for those factors and also account for other factors, such as education and income, the risk to black women is significantly higher," said Dr. Marlesa Moore, an obstetrician at UCHealth.
Moore says doctors and policy makers need to look at this problem differently.
"The American college of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recently came out with a statement that said racial and cultural bias could play a role in healthcare outcomes," Moore said.
The black women who were analyzed in this study said they often felt ignored and treated differently by their doctors. They also cited doctor-patient communication problems.
Moore says women of all races can become advocates for one another to help combat racial and cultural bias. Moore suggests visiting your obstetrician with a friend or family member if you think you aren't being heard. Speak up for yourself and ask questions when you have concerns about your health or your baby's health.
There's also a Facebook group, dedicated to tackling this issue. Click here for more info.