Why Are So Many Pregnant Mothers Dying in D.C.?



the health care system this is terrible it feels like a desert there is no maternity hospital that's available every black woman who makes it and half the full-term baby yesterday you did it you made it my name is Amber I live in Southeast DC East those Anacostia River first pregnancy I had a miscarriage at 20 weeks second pregnancy same thing had a miscarriage 20 weeks and then I have Noah and then I'm currently pregnant whenever I get pregnant I'm my pregnancy is considered a high-risk pregnancy it's been about four weeks since I've been to my last prenatal visit since I'm considered high-risk I'm supposed to be going every week the most challenging part before me this pregnancy this is being able to see a doctor each year in the United States more than 700 women die from pregnancy and childbirth and more than 50,000 women suffer a life draining complication in the 21st century America no woman should die in childbirth we see that across the nation with the closures of hospitals that access to very important critical maternity care is lacking there was the closure of the maternity ward at Providence Hospital there was the closure of the maternity ward at United Medical Center is created a problem with access to obstetric care maternity care desert is where there is limited access for women who are pregnant the places that don't have access our communities that are predominantly black the closing of UMC the closing of Providence really has affected care opportunities for poor women in DC in order to give complete comprehensive care you have to have a hospital so the fact that there's no hospital it is a desert those women don't have a hospital in their community we are going to see an increase in fetal or in demise maternal demise or near misses after what weeks finally get see a doctor is too way too far away from me are you feeling let's listen to the baby's heartbeat and also measure your belly I'm just excited to have this baby it's been a long journey and I'm just glad it's about to be over with all these words closing down more hospitals are getting booked up when I first got pregnant it took me a month to actually be seen by a doctor always getting cancelled or rescheduled I had to take out days of work I was Richard my manager he got upset and he never put me back on the schedule the hospital didn't cancel my appointments then my job probably would have been a little bit more lenient with me so was that happening I wasn't able to pay my rent I got an eviction notice for my door if it wasn't for my mom I'll probably be I don't know if I would be in a shelter somewhere there's still more women than you care so it's very challenging as providers just trying to piecemeal good care for these women and this is our most popular room I've been to probably at least 150 births in these rooms we offer full scope midwifery as well as birth center birth I'm creating a different kind of model with midwives of color that are gonna address the disparities that we're facing it oh look at you it's down here's my feel it you're big enough not to feel it so follow my hands both hands I know don't harass her head all the time now that you know how to find it there's just not enough providers we're worried we only serve a small percentage of the women who give birth in the district the hospital system does not have the staff or the capacity to meet the demands quality diminishes and that increases overall complications the health care in the area that you live in is something I think about if you want to started having a family you shouldn't have to worry like that it feels like a desert makes you just sometimes reconsider starting a family you

26 comments

  1. Why do u keep getting pregnant …she said if it wasnt for my mom .YOUR MOM SHLDNT BE PAYING YOUR DAMN RENT…MOM AINT GONNA ALWAYS BE THERE…WHERE IS THE FATHER OF THE UNBORN CHILD….WTF !!!!!

  2. It's not just in DC and it's not just blacks. I live in nj. The city used to be wealthy but with the leaders we lost most of our services that taxes pay for. One of them was the ability to deliver on town. We have to drive to NY or the adjacent town to deliver. We're also a sanctuary state yet we cannot help the residents.

  3. We need a lot of black doctors for black women to deliver their babies cuz white doctors don't know what they're doing especially if you're black

  4. If you can’t afford to travel 40 minutes to see a maternal dr, then you shouldn’t get pregnant. where is the father?

  5. The midwife we used for the birth of both of my daughter's births had a doctor she could call if the birth was high-risk or there were complications. If a community could do something based on a model like that, it would be beneficial to those areas that are Maternity Desert areas.

  6. What would be wonderful would be an increase in the use and reliance upon midwives. Building a community of well-educated midwives would assist mothers-to-be in every way. Many also have ultrasound machines and other standard medical equipment.

  7. No mention of a husband. They create their own horrid conditions. Doctors want to get paid too, they don’t want to work where people can’t afford to pay. Medicaid only pays 70-80% of costs. Also Ob/GYN in particular services are costly to insure.

  8. I bet there are plenty of abortion clinics though…Our "leaders" don't even care what's is happening to the people right under their noses. They don't want living babies and mothers,..just Dead ones. Margaret Sanger……know who she is….

  9. How in the world did you not interview anyone at Howard University Hospital for their perspective?

  10. Reason why I will never vote Democrat : lack of the belief of personal responsibility amongst the candidates

  11. This woman choose to have a baby while living in poverty and picked a man to do it with that just abandoned her and now she is blaming everybody else, her boss, her landlord, the hospital. She is 100% responsible for her situation because she chose to have sex when she knew she wasn't able to handle a kid. And now it's everybody else's fault in her eyes. She should blame her self for everything. No sense of responsibility

  12. So a 40min Car Drive is to much to secure the life of themselves and their babies?
    Sure this is a severe situation.. but not taking the 40min car drive just seems so ridicilous and dumb…

  13. So how are maternity clinics and hospitals meant to run without money? Also how many of these pregnancies where intentional, gotta practice some level of responsibility

  14. Fourth pregnancy, and no mention of a husband. Rather than focusing on "maternity deserts", a more useful contribution would be to focus on the destruction of the intact family. Single mothers are championed as "heroic" in our current dysfunctional, and constantly declining social order. The cycle of illegitimacy has been normalized. Rather than a message of personal responsibility, the dogma of shared guilt is constantly regurgitated. The cycle of dependency continues, the cries for "more" intensify, and true progress becomes "inexplicably" elusive.

  15. Very tragic. Denying African American women, and other minorities health care is what happens when the health care industry is more concerned with profits than lives. And we already know full well that the health of victims of institutional and systemic racism will be discarded first. Health care is literally unaffordable. Today I (single male, good health) went to Univera Health Care to look into supplemental coverage to the VA health care that I already receive. Because the VA service can be challenged at times. But I am grateful for it nonetheless. The rep started out on the “low” end at $399/month (that really didn’t cover much of anything). Then she started going up in increments of $300-400. But at each tier the coverage was limited unless you chose the one of the top tier coverages starting a cost of $1400 a month! At that point I had to end the query, and walked out dismayed.

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