Caddo Parish’s preterm birth rate worsens, receives ‘F’ grade

Published: Nov. 30, 2022 at 11:28 AM CST
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CADDO PARISH, La. (KSLA) - In the 2022 March of Dimes Report Card, released in November, both Louisiana and Caddo Parish are given an “F” for preterm birth rates.

In Louisiana, the preterm birth rate among Black women is 55% higher than the rate among all other women, according to the March of Dimes.

March of Dimes’ Shreveport Community Impact commissioned a group of Shreveport-based Black birth advocates to partner with an external public health expert to gauge the needs and potential for addressing Black maternal health as a dynamic problem.

They found several barriers, including unmet mental health needs during and after pregnancy, perceived lack of compassion and cultural competency in Shreveport’s healthcare system, and perceived different treatment for Medicaid recipients.

The Shreveport Community Impact has the following recommendations:

  • Develop standard operating procedures for coordination and communication between OBGYNs, primary care physicians, and community-based wraparound service providers
  • Expand, protect, and pay trusted community healthcare providers to provide Black women with competent care and compassion. This includes, but is not limited to, removing barriers for doulas to provide compassionate care throughout the birthing process and beyond.
  • Publish and promote guidance on how to navigate Medicaid benefits for maternal health
  • Engage Black maternal health allies in advocacy training on how to document, report, and intervene when racism, discrimination, bias, or prejudice appears at any stage of maternal healthcare