By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA

With a maternal mortality rate of 55.3 per 100,000 Black women continue to outpace other ethnicities.

The rate per 100,000 births for White women stands at 19.1. For Hispanic women, the rate per 100,000 remains at 18.2.

While studies routinely examine the health and well-being of women, some suggest providers might ignore an essential symptom of a mother losing a child at, or before, birth.

“Mental health conditions, including depression and anxiety, are common during pregnancy and after birth. Twice as many pregnant Black women with low incomes experience these conditions as white women,” said Dr. Huynh-Nhu Le, a professor in the Department of Psychological Services and Brain Sciences at George Washington University in D.C.

“Yet Black women are much less likely than white women to receive mental health screening or treatment during and after pregnancy,” Dr. Le stated.

“Therefore, it is critical to address health and mental health concerns for Black women during and after pregnancy to close the gap in providing equitable mental health care.”

Research teams at Children’s National Hospital and George Washington University have pledged to compare usual care to patient navigation alongside mental health prevention and treatment and peer-led support groups for women who are Black or of African descent during and after pregnancy.

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