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In Oakland, Black Newborns and Their Moms Are Finally Getting the Support They Need

In 2020, Black infants in Alameda County, Oklahoma, were twice as likely to die before their first birthday as white infants. To push back against that chilling reality, a group of local Black birth workers organized to make a difference. Their organization, BEloved BIRTH Black Centering, utilizes three proven strategies to provide better prenatal and postpartum care by, for, and with Black people:

  • Group meetings, organized by due date and led by healthcare professionals, encourage pregnant people to get to know other parents-to-be at a similar stage. This strategy, called Centering, has reduced the risk of preterm births by 41% among Black parents at over 400 sites nationally, according to the Centering Healthcare Institute.

  • Pairing Black expecting parents with Black birth workers to improve the quality of care, trust, and communication. This strategy is known as racial concordance.

  • Connecting families with the resources they need to ensure they have food, housing security, and other necessities, also called wraparound social support.

Image via The Oaklandside


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