Perinatal Equity Initiative (PEI)
PEI aims to address the causes of persistent inequality in birth outcomes and to identify best practices to eliminate disparities in infant mortality among African-Americans. PEI supports and promotes the implementation of specific interventions designed to complement current programming offered through the Black Infant Health program.
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
Black mothers are nearly three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes compared to Whites, Asians and Hispanics. Black babies are more than twice as likely to die before their first birthday compared to White, Asian and Hispanic babies. Source: https://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/maternal-deaths/
Understand that the experience of a mother during & after pregnancy impacts not only her health but the health of her baby. Stress caused by circumstance and stress caused as a result of racism can contribute to premature births and both infant and maternal deaths.
It takes a VILLAGE: Family, friends, and the community!
- Advocate for your needs, listen to your body & use your village.
- Consider midwifery or doula care for your childbirth.
- Join a local support group for Black mothers.
- Help plan for the baby. Talk with your partner/ co-parent about what you both want for your baby.
- Go with your partner to her prenatal care visits.
- Go to classes that will teach you and your partner/ co-parent about childbirth.
- Encourage your partner/ co-parent to use self-care strategies such as eating well, joining a mothers’ group, exercising regularly and eliminating drug and alcohol use.
- Offer to help with housework like cooking and cleaning.
Family, Friends & Community
- Encourage moms to attend all prenatal care appointments and offer moms transportation or childcare during her visits.
- Be available to talk, even if it’s checking in over the phone. Try to listen without the need to make suggestions or offer advice.
- Offer to help with cooking, housework or looking after the baby (or older children), but try not to take over.
- Be aware that while new parents may need help, they may also need some space. Being surrounded by many visitors – however well meaning – can be exhausting.
- Encourage your loved one to look after themselves (eat well, sleep when possible, exercise).
- Provide patient-centered care that is responsive to the needs of Black women. Mothers should receive health care that is respectful, culturally competent, safe and of the highest quality.
- Take an implicit bias training
- Learn about the African American health disparities.
- Ask questions & listen to responses, provide resources & offer support.
How you can get involved:
As a requirement of the Perinatal Equity Initiative, a San Joaquin County Community Advisory Board has been developed to focus on African American maternal and infant mortality and interventions designed to address birth outcomes within the African American community. If you have questions or would like more information please email email@example.com