U.S. Maternal Health

As we have worked on this project for nearly two years now, we have been surprised at how many stories of poor maternal health care in the United States have emerged.  As we have investigated, we have found too much troubling information about the USA’s poor maternal health reputation, especially when it comes to the places where race and poverty intersect with our medical systems.

A much larger exploration of maternal health and race in the US needs to be done, but to begin scratching the surface and troubling the waters, we’ve gathered some of the most important elements here.

US Maternal Health Advent Bible Study

Download this four-session Advent Bible Study to do with your church, exploring Mary’s story of pregnancy and Christian advocacy for maternal health.

Learn More About US Maternal Health and its Intersections with Race

  • Check out Women’s E-News “Sister Space” blog on Black Maternal Health
  • See especially this posting
  • Did you know that Maternal Health in the US is among the worst of the top 40 industrialized nations?  And that women of color in the US are 4-5 times more likely to die from pregnancy and childbirth related causes than white women?  Read the Amnesty Report on poor maternal health in the US, “Deadly Delivery” t0 learn more.
  • Fistula and Racism

  • The surgeon who invented the surgical techniques that save the lives and restore the dignity of women suffering from fistula was an American.  Practicing this technique in the mid-19th century, his guinea pigs were African slave women.  J. Marion Sims remains a controversial figure to this day.
  • Did you know that the Waldorf Astoria hotel, home to some of the glammiest glitz in New York City, was built on the site of the last fistula hospital in the United States?  Read more about it from St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital.

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