Pregnancy-related problems are the fifth most common reason for visits to the ED for women aged 15 – 65 years old
Postpartum hospital encounters in the first 42 days after birth are estimated to complicate 5 to 12% of births
The most common complaints were fever, abdominal pain, headache, vaginal bleeding, wound concerns, and high blood pressure.
53% of pregnancy related deaths occur between 7 days and one year postpartum.
According to the CDC, 80% of pregnancy related deaths are preventable (September, 2022)
Black women are two times more likely than White women to have severe complications of pregnancy and three to four times more likely to die from pregnancy related complications
Maryland is committed to reducing the rate of severe maternal morbidity across the state by nearly 20% by 2026. Meeting that ambitious goal depends on changing the way health care providers hear and engage with post-partum patients, especially Black mothers who are disproportionately impacted compared to their non-Black counterparts. These patients have often been seen in a primary care office, clinic, emergency department, or other community health setting where their early symptoms are underappreciated or dismissed.
With the leadership and support of an advisory group comprised of local experts in the fields of maternal health, emergency medicine, family practice, racial bias and health care inequities, the Maryland Patient Safety Center and the Maryland Hospital Association have partnered to create educational tools for non-obstetric providers to address the substantial disparity in maternal morbidity rate for Black birthing people in Maryland. This effort to help providers and patients recognize early warning signs and identify and mitigate their biases will amplify the implicit bias training and expansion of perinatal resources throughout the state
Executing the Mission
Healthcare organizations participating in B.I.R.T.H. Equity Maryland have access to a resource library of tools dedicated to implicit and explicit bias education and information on clinical and cultural competencies related to both pregnant and postpartum patients. This multimedia library includes webinars, podcasts, patient impact stories, and articles.
A clinical encounter tool is also available to support healthcare staff when working with patients in real time to address all pregnancy-related symptoms. This clinical checklist is designed to overcome the unheard concerns and missed diagnoses faced by Black birthing people in Maryland and across the country.
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If you or your organization would like more information on participating in B.I.R.T.H. Equity Maryland, please contact:
Please consider supporting this work. Your donation will go directly toward our B.I.R.T.H. Equity: Breaking Inequality Reimagining Transformative Healthcare project which launched in the Spring of 2022 and will continue to roll out statewide. Your donation will help to close the racial gap in care for Black birthing people.