DVIDS – News – Working Together to Improve Black Maternal Health
By Aisha Lomax
Walter Reed National Military Medical Center
“Black Maternal Health Week is a reminder that so many families experience pain, neglect, and loss during what should be one of the most joyous times of their lives. It is an urgent call for action,” states a proclamation signed by President Joe Biden in observance of Black Maternal Health Week 2023, observed April 11-17.
“Black women in America are three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications than white women. This is on top of the fact that women in America are dying at a higher rate from pregnancy-related causes than in any other developed nation,” the presidential proclamation added.
“Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) is a hallmark of commitment to safe, high-quality care, equitable, culturally diverse and inclusive care as a leader in advanced childbirth health care,” said Navy Capt. (Dr.) Kelly Elmore, WRNMMC chief of staff and an OB/GYN.
WRNMMC is one of the largest birthing centers in the Military Health System and delivers almost 1,200 babies every year. WRNMMC is also a referral center for high-risk pregnancies and complicated deliveries.
The Mother Infant Care Center (MICC) at WRNMMC offers lactation consultants, antepartum testing, certified nurse midwife program and doulas. Labor, delivery and recovery occur in private birthing rooms.
But despite the safe and quality care provided at WRNMMC, every year in the United States as a whole, too many women die during pregnancy or experience maternal health challenges. “One in 5 women in America experience maternal mental health conditions like postpartum depression, anxiety, or substance use disorder, so we launched the Maternal Mental Health Hotline (1-833-9-HELP4MOMS), a confidential, 24-hour, toll-free number,” Biden continued.
The president encourages people to “give thanks to the extraordinary maternal health care workforce, which serves its patients and their families every day. And let us join in common cause to end the tragedy of maternal mortality once and for all.”
According to the American College of OBGYNs, several factors including socioeconomic statuses, maternal education, health insurance coverage, access to prenatal and postnatal care, and health care services, contribute to the disparity in pregnancy survival rates among racial groups.
A study published in 2021 by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) titled, “Race matters: maternal morbidity in the Military Health System,” hypothesized that universal access to health care, as seen in the military health care system, leads to similar rates of maternal morbidity regardless of race or ethnic background.”
“Equal access to health care and similar socioeconomic statuses in the military health care system do not explain the health care disparities seen regarding maternal morbidity encountered by Black women having children in the United States. This study identifies health care disparities in severe maternal morbidity among active-duty service members and their families,” the study’s conclusion states.
“In order for doctors to be successful they should be able to engage with patients from different backgrounds,” said Dr. Logan Peterson, an OB/GYN at WRNMMC who also serves as director of clinical clerkships for OB/GYN for the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU).
“Patients should be educated and empowered to control their plan of care,” added Robyn Daniel, MICC nurse coordinator at WRNMMC.
“Better support for women and pregnant women will continue to produce better outcomes in terms of healthy births, healthy mothers, and military retainment during their pregnant years,” shared Air Force Lt. Col (Dr.) Krista Mehlhaff, department chief of maternal fetal medicine at WRNMMC.
Our military public health is critical to the readiness of our global military forces and their families,” Elmore concluded.
More information regarding black maternity is available on social media at #maternalhealthawareness, #maternalheathawarenessday2023, and #BMHW23.
WRNMMC, the world’s premier, integrated military medical center and where the nation heals our heroes, strives to provide extraordinary experiences for patients, families, and staff while driving tomorrow’s healthcare advances through education, innovation, and research. For additional information about WRNMMC, please visit us at http://walterreed.tricare.mil.
|Date Posted:||04.14.2023 15:39|
This work, Working Together to Improve Black Maternal Health, by Aisha Lomax, identified by DVIDS, must comply with the restrictions shown on https://www.dvidshub.net/about/copyright.
Private Internet Access gives you unparalleled access to thousands of next-gen servers in over 83 countries and each US state. Your VPN experience will always be fast, smooth, and reliable.