Racism and Maternal and Infant Mortality in the United States

Art of Opening is a dedicated practice that is striving to be a safe space for midwifery students of color and / or LGBTQ.  As we look to the support structures for families of color and of the LGBTQ community, we find worse outcomes in the United States for maternal and infant mortality along with a rise of trauma in pregnancy, labor, and birth.  The reasons behind these statistics are found to be in the stresses of racism and discrimination.  The disparities for Black and Indigenous people are up to 4 times the maternal and infant mortality rate as white and the answer seems to lie in midwifery care practices by those within a similar community culture.  It is therefore part of our foundational ethics as a practice that we work to shift this paradigm through supporting and growing midwives.  Although we only have a few students in our practice, there are many places you can donate for individuals in their birth worker journey. 

For more information about these statistics and more you can take a deeper dive in these resources:

How Racism Impacts Pregnancy Outcomes

National Perinatal Taskforce


Unnatural Causes, is inequality making us sick?

Evidence Based Birth.  Research on Racism and Matenral Health

For opportunities to donate towards programs that are funding midwifery scholarships check out the following resources:

Monarch Midwives:

The Elephant Circle:

Black Midwives Association to Advance Black Birth:

Nizhoni Institute of Midwifery Scholarship:

Commonsense Midwifery Scholarship:

National College of Midwifery Scholarship:

BIPOC aspiring midwives:

The Grand Challenge:

Mercy in Action:

LGBTQ specific information and disparties:

Sexual Orientation Disparities in Pregnancy and Infant Outcomes

LGBTQ patients face discrimination and erasure when seeking reproductive health care:

Safety of Homebirth

Birthplace Study 2011

Bodywork and Positioning in Pregnancy

British Medical Journal on North American CPM’s safety

Canadian Medical Journal on homebirth safety

Citizens for Midwifery

Home Birth Safety – Resources on Science & Sensibility for Birth Professionals

New Zealand Study

The Farm

Want to do something? Increasing the number of midwives of color serving their communities is essential.

Or inquire with your local midwife about local programs that can make a difference for local families in the greater San Diego region!