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Thread: Why America’s Black Mothers and Babies Are in a Life-or-Death Crisis

  1. #1
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    Why America’s Black Mothers and Babies Are in a Life-or-Death Crisis

    https://mobile.nytimes.com/2018/04/1...mortality.html

    I'm going to skip over the personal stories that make up most of this article and get straight to a few comments about the main findings.

    "Black infants in America are now more than twice as likely to die as white infants — a racial disparity that is actually wider than in 1850, 15 years before the end of slavery, when most black women were considered chattel."

    "The crisis of maternal death and near-death also persists for black women across class lines."

    ”...black women in their mid-20s had higher rates of infant death than teenage girls did... For white mothers, the opposite proved true: Teenagers had the highest risk of infant mortality, and women in their mid-20s the lowest.”

    So black women today, including those in middle and upper classes who have all sorts of advantages, are experiencing worse maternal and infant health outcomes relative to whites than in 1850. And yet what does the author suggest explains it?

    "For black women in America, an inescapable atmosphere of societal and systemic racism can create a kind of toxic physiological stress, resulting in conditions... that lead directly to higher rates of infant and maternal death."

    "For black women, something about growing up in America seems to be bad for your baby’s birth weight."

    I don't know the answer, and I'm not going to spontaneously figure out what teams of medical researchers and epidemiologists haven't yet, but to me, there has to be a more concrete answer to this problem, because this suggestion that a vague, nebulous "atmopshere of societal and systemic racism" is causing these variances in health outcomes just fails to connect, given the disparity crosses class lines and is worse than when there was actual slavery and extreme, overt racism. But that's just me.

    How can the relative race disparity in health outcomes really be worse for even affluent black women of today, because of some hidden racism, than it was during the fucking monstrously evil racism of 1850s America?
    Last edited by Neomalthusian; 12th April 2018 at 09:29 PM.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neomalthusian View Post
    https://mobile.nytimes.com/2018/04/1...mortality.html

    I'm going to skip over the personal stories that make up most of this article and get straight to a few comments about the main findings.

    "Black infants in America are now more than twice as likely to die as white infants — a racial disparity that is actually wider than in 1850, 15 years before the end of slavery, when most black women were considered chattel."

    "The crisis of maternal death and near-death also persists for black women across class lines."

    ”...black women in their mid-20s had higher rates of infant death than teenage girls did... For white mothers, the opposite proved true: Teenagers had the highest risk of infant mortality, and women in their mid-20s the lowest.”

    So black women today, including those in middle and upper classes who have all sorts of advantages, are experiencing worse maternal and infant health outcomes relative to whites than in 1850. And yet what does the author suggest explains it?

    "For black women in America, an inescapable atmosphere of societal and systemic racism can create a kind of toxic physiological stress, resulting in conditions... that lead directly to higher rates of infant and maternal death."

    "For black women, something about growing up in America seems to be bad for your baby’s birth weight."

    I don't know the answer, and I'm not going to spontaneously figure out what teams of medical researchers and epidemiologists haven't yet, but to me, there has to be a more concrete answer to this problem, because this suggestion that a vague, nebulous "atmopshere of societal and systemic racism" is causing these variances in health outcomes just fails to connect, given the disparity crosses class lines and is worse than when there was actual slavery and extreme, overt racism. But that's just me.

    How can the relative race disparity in health outcomes really be worse for even affluent black women of today, because of some hidden racism, than it was during the fucking monstrously evil racism of 1850s America?
    First of all, your OP or you did not give any statistics of Infant or Neonatal mortality rates in the US.

    Too simply state that African America Infant mortality is 50% higher... Higher than what? What is the baseline.

    6 per 1000 live births is comparatively low.

    Clinicians do not know the cause. Dr. Michael Lu, a UCLA Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Public Health has to even speculate. Dr. Lu even reports that social-economic factors are not an outlier as even more affluent AA women still have equal infant mortality rates as less affluent AA women.

    Is Racism Behind High Infant Mortality Rates Among African-Americans?
    https://rewire.news/article/2010/05/...icanamericans/
    And, as Allers alluded to earlier, there is little correlation between socioeconomic status and infant mortality rates. Statistics show that even college-educated African-American women continue to have significantly higher infant mortality rates than white women without a college education. Stressful life events during pregnancy, which can caused increased levels of damaging stress hormones to reach the fetus, were not correlated with premature birth, infant mortality of low birth rates, all areas in which there remain significant disparities between African-American and white women.

    Mortality rates:



    https://mchb.hrsa.gov/chusa14/health...mortality.html
    Thanks from Friday13

  3. #3
    Veteran Member Madeline's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neomalthusian View Post
    https://mobile.nytimes.com/2018/04/1...mortality.html

    I'm going to skip over the personal stories that make up most of this article and get straight to a few comments about the main findings.

    "Black infants in America are now more than twice as likely to die as white infants — a racial disparity that is actually wider than in 1850, 15 years before the end of slavery, when most black women were considered chattel."

    "The crisis of maternal death and near-death also persists for black women across class lines."

    ”...black women in their mid-20s had higher rates of infant death than teenage girls did... For white mothers, the opposite proved true: Teenagers had the highest risk of infant mortality, and women in their mid-20s the lowest.”

    So black women today, including those in middle and upper classes who have all sorts of advantages, are experiencing worse maternal and infant health outcomes relative to whites than in 1850. And yet what does the author suggest explains it?

    "For black women in America, an inescapable atmosphere of societal and systemic racism can create a kind of toxic physiological stress, resulting in conditions... that lead directly to higher rates of infant and maternal death."

    "For black women, something about growing up in America seems to be bad for your baby’s birth weight."

    I don't know the answer, and I'm not going to spontaneously figure out what teams of medical researchers and epidemiologists haven't yet, but to me, there has to be a more concrete answer to this problem, because this suggestion that a vague, nebulous "atmopshere of societal and systemic racism" is causing these variances in health outcomes just fails to connect, given the disparity crosses class lines and is worse than when there was actual slavery and extreme, overt racism. But that's just me.

    How can the relative race disparity in health outcomes really be worse for even affluent black women of today, because of some hidden racism, than it was during the fucking monstrously evil racism of 1850s America?
    I dunno. Like you, I am convinced actual slavery must have been more horrible. I also wonder how reliable figures on maternal and infant death rates from 1850 were developed, when (I assume) such records weren't kept for any part of society and giving birth in hospitals was not the norm.

    Nonetheless, something is clearly terribly wrong. We can speculate about a rise in hospital-created illnesses, but not ones that afflict some patients more than others based on race. Environmental causes don't appear to be likely causes, since the racial disparity transcends all class lines.

    Hard to suggest a reasonable hypothesis without knowing the causes of death. Especially among mothers -- I'd have guessed maternal deaths in childbirth were extremely rare in the U.S., for any subset of people.

    It's a puzzle, and deserves more study.
    Thanks from Friday13

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    Chaos in fourteen lines Minotaur's Avatar
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    It is not surprising to me that anyone living in systemic racism has impact from birth to old age. The issue is to recognize how damaging racism really is. For those not understanding impact it will be harder to accept the potential impact of a racism they don't recognize. That is an issue imo. Imagine having children and being afraid that they are going to be killed by law enforcement. Imagine job rejections that are questionable. Imagine poor treatment or service with all the appearance of racism in the handling. Many turn a blind eye to that. Just the fact that so many attack BLM without recognizing the cause and frown on football players taking a knee for black lives lost says all that needs to be said. Stress kills.

    Pregnancies require less stress during each stage.
    Thanks from labrea and Friday13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Neomalthusian View Post
    https://mobile.nytimes.com/2018/04/1...mortality.html

    I'm going to skip over the personal stories that make up most of this article and get straight to a few comments about the main findings.

    "Black infants in America are now more than twice as likely to die as white infants — a racial disparity that is actually wider than in 1850, 15 years before the end of slavery, when most black women were considered chattel."

    "The crisis of maternal death and near-death also persists for black women across class lines."

    ”...black women in their mid-20s had higher rates of infant death than teenage girls did... For white mothers, the opposite proved true: Teenagers had the highest risk of infant mortality, and women in their mid-20s the lowest.”

    So black women today, including those in middle and upper classes who have all sorts of advantages, are experiencing worse maternal and infant health outcomes relative to whites than in 1850. And yet what does the author suggest explains it?

    "For black women in America, an inescapable atmosphere of societal and systemic racism can create a kind of toxic physiological stress, resulting in conditions... that lead directly to higher rates of infant and maternal death."

    "For black women, something about growing up in America seems to be bad for your baby’s birth weight."

    I don't know the answer, and I'm not going to spontaneously figure out what teams of medical researchers and epidemiologists haven't yet, but to me, there has to be a more concrete answer to this problem, because this suggestion that a vague, nebulous "atmopshere of societal and systemic racism" is causing these variances in health outcomes just fails to connect, given the disparity crosses class lines and is worse than when there was actual slavery and extreme, overt racism. But that's just me.

    How can the relative race disparity in health outcomes really be worse for even affluent black women of today, because of some hidden racism, than it was during the fucking monstrously evil racism of 1850s America?
    My guess is that in the mid 1800s good prenatal care wasn't available for black women, or white women either.
    Thanks from Minotaur

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neomalthusian View Post
    https://mobile.nytimes.com/2018/04/1...mortality.html

    I'm going to skip over the personal stories that make up most of this article and get straight to a few comments about the main findings.

    "Black infants in America are now more than twice as likely to die as white infants — a racial disparity that is actually wider than in 1850, 15 years before the end of slavery, when most black women were considered chattel."

    "The crisis of maternal death and near-death also persists for black women across class lines."

    ”...black women in their mid-20s had higher rates of infant death than teenage girls did... For white mothers, the opposite proved true: Teenagers had the highest risk of infant mortality, and women in their mid-20s the lowest.”

    So black women today, including those in middle and upper classes who have all sorts of advantages, are experiencing worse maternal and infant health outcomes relative to whites than in 1850. And yet what does the author suggest explains it?

    "For black women in America, an inescapable atmosphere of societal and systemic racism can create a kind of toxic physiological stress, resulting in conditions... that lead directly to higher rates of infant and maternal death."

    "For black women, something about growing up in America seems to be bad for your baby’s birth weight."

    I don't know the answer, and I'm not going to spontaneously figure out what teams of medical researchers and epidemiologists haven't yet, but to me, there has to be a more concrete answer to this problem, because this suggestion that a vague, nebulous "atmopshere of societal and systemic racism" is causing these variances in health outcomes just fails to connect, given the disparity crosses class lines and is worse than when there was actual slavery and extreme, overt racism. But that's just me.

    How can the relative race disparity in health outcomes really be worse for even affluent black women of today, because of some hidden racism, than it was during the fucking monstrously evil racism of 1850s America?
    how do you know that?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Minotaur View Post
    It is not surprising to me that anyone living in systemic racism has impact from birth to old age. The issue is to recognize how damaging racism really is. For those not understanding impact it will be harder to accept the potential impact of a racism they don't recognize. That is an issue imo. Imagine having children and being afraid that they are going to be killed by law enforcement. Imagine job rejections that are questionable. Imagine poor treatment or service with all the appearance of racism in the handling. Many turn a blind eye to that. Just the fact that so many attack BLM without recognizing the cause and frown on football players taking a knee for black lives lost says all that needs to be said. Stress kills.

    Pregnancies require less stress during each stage.
    WE'll put you down on the side of racism. What about mother's habits on nutrition, lifestyle? what would babies and infants know about racism?
    Thanks from Minotaur

  8. #8
    Chaos in fourteen lines Minotaur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by THOR View Post
    WE'll put you down on the side of racism. What about mother's habits on nutrition, lifestyle? what would babies and infants know about racism?
    Those are also factors but more related to lower socio economic groups which would include all races. That doesn't explain the numbers crossing all socio economic segments. The article speaks to this: "For black women, something about growing up in America seems to be bad for your baby’s birth weight." Lower birth weight being a serious condition. I suspect they assume that in higher income brackets it shows there is more at play than just nutrition or lifestyle. Stress is a pretty good place to start looking due to that reality of it impacting all segments. Birth weight is a big clue imo if it turns out to be the culprit.
    Last edited by Minotaur; 13th April 2018 at 12:37 PM.
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  9. #9
    Chaos in fourteen lines Minotaur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by labrea View Post
    My guess is that in the mid 1800s good prenatal care wasn't available for black women, or white women either.
    That is a darn good point.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by THOR View Post
    WE'll put you down on the side of racism. What about mother's habits on nutrition, lifestyle? what would babies and infants know about racism?
    If the pregnant mother suffers racism, then her unborn does too. When she lives in a society with poor housing, jobs or even dietary needs let alone access to good quality medical care, then her unborn is affected. If the mother herself was carried by HER mother in similar circumstances.... and so it goes.
    Last edited by Dangermouse; 13th April 2018 at 04:17 PM.
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