Pandemic heightens mother, infant issues related to birth
SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - The March of Dimes, a nonprofit organization that works to improve the health of mothers and babies, gave Caddo Parish an “F” on their 2021 report card.
The pandemic has exacerbated already major issues for mothers and their infants during, and after, the birthing process. The Birth Story Project (BSP) aims to change that.
“The support system for mothers has changed. At one point, family members and doulas were not allowed in the delivery room,” Alicia Mingo said.
Mingo is a nurse, doula, certified breastfeeding specialist, childbirth educator and certified child care health consultant.
“In Shreveport, we are the worst of our state,” she explained.
The infant mortality rate in Louisiana is 8.1, compared to the 5.6 for the entire country.
Black mothers, specifically, are more likely to die due to pregnancy-related issues, according the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“There are implicit bias, racism, prejudice, lack of education, lack of resources, lack of support,” Mingo explained.
“By sharing the stories of people giving birth in our state, we hope to increase transparency and accountability within our health system and communities,” according to a news release from BSP. “Our goal is to make birth better for all mothers delivering in Louisiana so that they feel safe, respected, and cared for in their journeys.”
On Saturday, Dec. 11, a BSP event will be facilitated by the Healthy Birth Ambassadors of Region 7 and the Women of Praise.
The event will be hosted by the Praise Temple Full Gospel Baptist Church located at 4725 Greenwood Road, Shreveport, Louisiana, 71109.
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