Angie Gives Back

The high maternal mortality rate (MMR) in the U.S. is often blamed on the poor health of mothers, but a comparison with other wealthy countries undermines this argument. MMR is not rising in countries with similarly increased rates of cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes and other conditions during pregnancy—as shown by using two estimates one by the World Health Organization (WHO) and one by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME).

Factors that are contributing to the rise in MMR in the U.S. include structural racism, lack of access to care, lack of access to comprehensive postpartum support and an undersupply of maternity providers, especially midwives. In fact, new research exploring U.S. maternal and infant health disparities discusses structural racism as a primary risk factor for African-American mothers and their infants. (Separate and unequal: Structural racism and infant mortality in the US, Maeve Wallace et al.Health Place. 2017 May. - link

FACT: In Fulton County Georgia, my home state – the maternal mortality rate for black women is 94 deaths per 100,000 live births. To put this in perspective this is five-and-a-half times our already high national rate of 17.4 deaths per 100,000 live births and higher than the developing country of Peru – where the maternal mortality rate is 89 deaths per 100,000 live births.


1. Donate to Black Mamas Matter Alliance, a national network of Black women-led organizations and multidisciplinary professionals who work to ensure that all Black Mamas have the rights, respect and resources to thrive before, during, and after pregnancy. Designate a portion of your business proceeds or income to support this cause.

2. Learn about Kira Johnson who tragically lost her life during a routine c-section at Cedars Sinai in Los Angeles and donate.

3. Amplify voices already doing this vital work.

4. Share this information so that others will learn more and take action.