Respectful Maternity Care
The maternal health crisis in the U.S. is worsening, and we need a culture of Respectful Maternity Care to change it. Maternal health inequities weigh on Black and Indigenous communities, and data shows that it is due to structural and interpersonal racism. We need to be honest about how Black women are treated during maternity care.
Systems acknowledging the ways racism affects birth outcomes requires exploring innovative anti-racist models and tools for quality improvement. Despite the prevalence of racist microaggressions and bias fueling disrespect in labor and delivery care in the U.S., there are limited tools that can measure disrespect or that support provider behavior change. Health systems are ready for accountability and quality improvement measures for racism, starting with obstetric racism.
NBEC and a wide array of clinical, philanthropic, academic, and community-based partners are creating tools and a supporting infrastructure to support better birth outcomes with Respectful Maternity Care.
Respectful Maternity Care is radical shift in practice to reduce inequities in birth outcomes. Providers are trained and socialized to practice in ways that perpetuate racial biases. Medical training and quality improvement is slowly moving towards equitable models of care, but most of our workforce has been trained under an institutionally racist system. Establishing Respectful Maternity Care is normalizing a new model of care at the core of medical practice!