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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Episode 123 (Epilogue): Black History Month

Tonight's Birth in the News:
Mothers Remain at Risk for Blood Clots 12 Weeks Postpartum, Not Six
New Mammography Study Raises Doubts to Value of Screening
Mother Expecting Triplets is Surprised With Identical Quads

Midwife Maude Callen
On tonight's episode of Maternally Yours, we welcomed Maria Milton, daughter of Grand Midwife Gladys Milton, and Orlando midwife Jennie Joseph, to celebrate Black History Month with a look back at the history of black midwifery in America, and a look at the racial disparity in birth outcomes that still plagues our mothers and babies.

We started the conversation with the NPR piece "Lessons from African-American Midwife Traditions." We then spoke with Maria Milton about her mother's work, struggle, and legacy. To read more about Gladys Milton, we encourage you to pick up a copy of Why Not Me? The Story of Gladys Milton, Midwife.

After the break, we listened to clips from the Midwives Alliance of North America's series "I Am A Midwife," in which five midwives discus health disparity in pregnancy and childbirth.

Then we welcomed Jennie Joseph back to the airwaves, who gave us an emotional reaction to the brief history of black midwifery we heard in the first half of our show. We discussed the impacts of chronic stress, institutional racism, and lack of trust on outcomes in communities Jennie refers to as Maternal Toxic Zones. We discussed the need for more birth workers of color, and announced the Mercy in Action Scholarship for schools and students interested in reducing disparity. We also mentioned a national summit about racial justice in birth in which Jennie will be participating in early March. 

If you would like to support an organization that is actively working to end racial disparity in birth outcomes, please consider one of the following:

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