How Racism Harms Pregnant Women and What Can Help

Doula/Journalist Miriam Zoila Perez gives a TED talk on the effects of discrimination on pregnant women and their babies, and reveals a new model of pre-natal care.

I love this talk by my Race Forward colleague Miriam Zoila Perez, who is a doula and a journalist. In this TED talk, she describes the huge toll that racism takes on the body of a pregnant woman. Infant mortality is deeply racialized in the U.S., with Black babies twice as likely to die before their first birthday than White babies. The stress that mothers of color experience will be increasingly established as a factor in low birth weight and premature birth, two leading causes of infant mortality. A Harvard study shows that bad birth outcomes for 15,000 California women with Arabic names spiked between September 2001 and March 2002.

In this talk, Perez describes a "radically compassionate" prenatal care program that addresses these trauma-based needs of our communities.