Cardiomyopathy – A disease of the heart muscle that makes it harder for the heart to pump blood to the rest of the body. Cardiomyopathy can lead to heart failure.
Doula – A professional birthing coach. Can assist with childbirth, postpartum, or the full spectrum of maternal health.
Hemorrhage – Bleeding from a damaged blood vessel.
High-risk Pregnancy – When the birthing person or baby are at an increased risk of a health problem.
Hypertension – High blood pressure.
Low Birth Weight – A term used to describe an infant born weighing 5.5 pounds (2500 grams) or less.
Maternal Mortality – The death of a woman during pregnancy, at delivery, or soon after delivery is a tragedy for her family and for society as a whole.
Maternal Health – Refers to the health of women during pregnancy, childbirth, and the postnatal period.
Preterm Birth – Refers to birth before 37 weeks of gestation. Also called “premature”.
Preterm Labor – Labor that begins before the 37th week of pregnancy.
Pulmonary Embolism – A blockage in one of the pulmonary arteries in your lungs.
Maternal Mortality Rates
Hispanic women also are twice as likely compared to White women to have a birth with late or no prenatal care compared to White women (8% vs. 4%)
The CDC reports that among heterosexual women in the U.S. aged 15 to 49 years with no prior births, approximately 19% are unable to become pregnant after one year of trying. Within this group of women, approximately 26% not only have difficulty getting pregnant, but also have a hard time carrying a pregnancy to full term.
The CDC also reports that among women with one or more prior births, 6% aged 15 to 49 years and who are married are unable to get pregnant. Conversely, 14% of this group have a difficult time carrying a person to term.
Pregnant people are more likely to get severely ill with COVID-19 compared with non-pregnant people. If you are pregnant, you can receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy can protect you from severe illness from COVID-19. If you have questions about getting vaccinated, talk to your healthcare provider.
Also, a COVID-19 vaccination of the mother may protect the newborn against COVID-19 hospitalization.
COVID-19 during pregnancy is associated with severe illness and death, and pregnant women with COVID-19 are more likely to experience preterm birth, stillbirth, and other pregnancy complications.
Vaccination is recommended for pregnant women to prevent COVID-19, including severe illness and death. COVID-19 vaccination is safe and effective when administered during pregnancy. Receipt of COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy is associated with detectable maternal antibodies in maternal sera at delivery, breast milk, and infant sera indicating transfer of maternal antibodies.
One study, in the Netherlands, showed pregnant women infected with COVID-19, had an increased hospital/ICU admission and need for cesarean section. In the same study, Minorities and those who are overweight/obese had a higher risk factor of severe COVID-19 complications including infection in pregnancy, risk of cesarean section and hospital and intensive care unit.
Multiple studies have shown that people who have received flu shots during pregnancy have not had a higher risk for spontaneous abortion (miscarriage). One of the largest and strongest studiesexternal icon was conducted in CDC’s Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD) project. The recently published study covered three flu seasons (2012-13, 2013-14, 2014-15) looking for any increased risk for miscarriage among pregnant people who had received a flu vaccine during their pregnancy. The study found NO increased risk for miscarriage after flu vaccination during pregnancy.
This study was conducted in follow-up to a previous smaller study. The prior studyexternal icon examined data from the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 flu seasons and identified an association between flu vaccination early in pregnancy and an increased risk of spontaneous abortion or miscarriage; particularly among people who had received flu vaccine during the previous flu season. However, the smaller study had several limitations, including small sample size which could have led to imprecise results. This study was the only analysis to show that association; no other studies had found an increased risk of SAB following flu vaccination At this time, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG)external icon and CDC continue to recommend that pregnant people get a flu vaccine during any trimester of their pregnancy because flu poses a danger to pregnant people and a flu vaccine can prevent serious illness, including hospitalization, during pregnancy.
Meet Samantha Griffin, CEO and Owner of DC Metro Maternity and Doula.
In this video, Samantha outlines the importance of maternal care in the Black community from the valuable perspective of a doula.
Samantha was also a panelist during the Health Champions webinar, “Maternal Health and Vaccines.”
Meet Falasha Zuend, soon-to-be mother of three and birthing person.
In this video, Falasha outlines the importance of health and vaccines during pregnancy from the perspective of an African American woman.
Falasha was also one of the panelists during the Health Champions webinar, “Maternal Health and Vaccines”
Systemic racism’s prevalence in healthcare underscores the need for Black and Hispanic/Latinx birthing people to have a strong advocate during their birthing experience.
NOTE: In 2021, HealthLaw.org found that the following states reimbursed for doula services through Medicaid: Florida, Minnesota, New Jersey, and Oregon.
NMQF’s Center for Sustainable Health Care Quality and Equity (SHC) hosts a Health Champions discussion on “Champions for Total Health: Black Maternal Health & Vaccines” with a focus on flu and COVID-19 vaccination rates among pregnant people of color.
Carla S. Rogers-Henry, MD, MA, Assistant Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Chief of Ambulatory Women’s Health Services Obstetrics & Gynecology, Elmhurst Hospital Center
Lois Privor-Dumm, IMBA Director, Adult Vaccines International Vaccine Access Center ,Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health
Samantha Griffin Owner, Doula DC Metro Maternity
Falasha Zuend, Birthing Person
Brittani Nelson, MPH Program and Policy Coordinator Louisiana Cancer Prevention & Control Programs (LCP) LSU Health New Orleans (Moderator)