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Sept. 10, 2021

The Black Maternal Health Crisis with Dr. Mary E. Fleming

The Black Maternal Health Crisis with Dr. Mary E. Fleming

In recent years, the topic of maternal mortality has been widely covered in the news. America is known for being an affluent country with some of the best medical resources and advancements, yet we are consistently ranked poorly when it comes to maternal...


In recent years, the topic of maternal mortality has been widely covered in the news. America is known for being an affluent country with some of the best medical resources and advancements, yet we are consistently ranked poorly when it comes to maternal and infant mortality. The numbers across the board are bleak, but for black and brown women, they are utterly devastating. In today’s episode, host DJ D-Rich is joined in conversation with Dr. Mary E. Fleming to discuss the maternal health care crisis in America and what is being done to bring health equity to women across the states.

When it comes to health disparities and inequities, it is important to understand that the care we receive in medical facilities only plays a small role in what affects our everyday health. If we want to bridge the gaps in our healthcare systems, we simply cannot treat every patient the same. Dr. Mary E. Fleming explains that before determining the route of care, health care providers need to consider several other factors, such as where the patient lives, how accessible fresh food is, and their modes of transportation, just to name a few. 

In addition, the medical field has a long and grueling history of providing inefficient care to people of color. The generational trauma that has resulted from this systemic inequity often prevents people of color from achieving good health. When the human body is exposed to the stress of everyday racism, it weakens one’s chances of survival. Dr. Mary E. Fleming suggests that this puts black women at inherent risk for complications before, during, and even after pregnancy. 

Dr. Mary E. Fleming and many other physicians are fighting to close the gaps in healthcare disparities and provide better medical experiences for black women in America and around the globe. Tune into this week’s episode of the Southern Soul Podcast for a conversation about the black maternal crisis. Learn more about the challenges women of color experience in early motherhood and get answers to commonly asked questions from a medical expert herself! 

 

Quotes

• “You think of the US as this very affluent country with all of these medical resources and access to care, and you wouldn't think that we would be at the bottom of the list on the health outcome platform. But maternal mortality is one of those which, across the board, we are at the bottom of the list, and for black and brown women, it's even worse.” (13:16-13:29)

• “When there are any health inequities, everybody's health suffers. It's not just the disadvantaged population, it is the whole population.” (15:15-15:23)

• “Even for black women who have a great job, went to school, go to prenatal care, do everything they're supposed to do, their rates of dying are still higher, and much higher than white women with a high school education.” (18:17-18:33)

• “All the health disparities didn't just happen. It isn’t something that just happened five years or ten years ago. This is historical because of the American way. And there are lots of policies in place that we don't even think about on an everyday basis that affect our health outcomes.” (22:08-22:25)

 

Links

Connect with Dr. Mary E. Fleming:

• Reede Scholar Podcast: https://reedescholars.org/Reede-scholars-live

• Integrated Care - Cayabacare Maternal Health: https://www.cayabacare.com/

• Nomad Obgyn Blog: http://www.nomadobgyn.com/

 

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