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Preparing for the arrival of a child is such a joyous time in ones life...

Picking out nursery colors, deciding on the name, and finding out the sex of the baby are just a few things that make this journey an exciting one. Childbirth, sadly is not always rainbows and unicorns.

Maternal mortality is not something we hear spoke on often, but something that has become a rising issue in our country today.  Daily woman are walking into hospitals or birthing centers with the hopes of birthing their beautiful babies, but as time has gone on we are seeing not all are  walking out.The maternal death rate in the U.S has more than doubled over the last decade and shows no signs of lowering.  According to the latest research from the Center Of Disease Control And Prevention black woman specifically  have the the highest maternal mortality rate in the U.S and are nearly four times more likely to die during childbirth than white woman. According to the CDC white woman experienced  12.7 deaths per 100,000 live births while black woman experienced 43.5 deaths per 100,000 live births in the year 2015. Some research would suggest that black woman are more susceptible to this due to social inequities like clean drinking water, good jobs, or safe neighborhoods. While other research states that most of these deaths could have been prevented if someone would just listen. New studies have shown that having a Doula present during pregnancy and childbirth can lower these rates as well as decrease cesareans and preterm births. What is a Doula?  A doula is  a non-medical person who assists a woman before, during, and after childbirth, to provide emotional support and physical help if needed. Doula's advocate for the mother's to make sure their voices  are being heard. They also may provide support to the mother's partner and family.  As a doula of color my main mission is to bring awareness to the rising rates of maternal mortality in the African American community. We are losing to many woman too situations that are preventable. What can we do to bring awareness to this rising issue in woman of color? Use your voice and make sure its heard. This could be your mother, sister, daughter, or friend. Maternal Mortality in Black woman is a real thing, lets find a way to end this.

- Shawnie James

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