FRESNO, CA --The United States' high maternal death rate is a disproportionate number among Black women who die during pregnancy: although it is considered an industrialized nation, the United States' maternal mortality rate is on the rise, according to the National Institute of Health.
According to story, A Matter Of Life & Death: Why Are Black Women In The U.S. More Likely To Die During Or After Childbirth? in essecnce.com, at startling rates, hundreds of Black women in the U.S. are losing their lives during pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period. They are between three and four times more likely to die of a pregnancy-related complication than White women.
The same report also stated that compared with White women, Black women disproportionately live in poverty, are uninsured and may live in neighborhoods that lack fresh groceries or green spaces for exercise, all of which can contribute to underlying health problems.
To add to these startling facts, young women in their teens are by far the least likely to receive timely prenatal care, according to a study done by childrtrends.org.
It is this alarming information that the Black Infant Health Program (Fresno BIH) is urging the public to read, hear, watch and understand to prevent maternal deaths among black expecting mothers.
Another goal of the Fresno BIH has been to educate people on Fresno County's high African-American infant mortality rate of 25.3 per 1,000 live births compared to a rate of 8.1 per 1,000 live births for white residents, Fresno BIH has been urging black mothers to seek help immediately with them before or during their pregnancies.
As the Fresno BIH's massive social media campaign begins to wind down, sharing its last story to outreach to expecting mothers, it has been successful in reaching pregnant mothers in need via sharing the real stories of mothers who entered their program and were able to utilize their many available resources.
Part 3 of Sacorra Harris' Story is featuring this week, reaching out to teenage expecting mothers having children. Harris is detailed, telling her real-life story about not knowing enough information on how to be a mother, trying to finish high school and deal with the lack of information during her pregnancy, causing her to get a C-section for the birth of her first born.
It would be the help of the Fresno Black Infant Health Program, dedicated family members, and a caring teacher who would help her get through such life challenges.
Stay tuned to the following week to watch the final part 4 of Harris' experience, and continue to watch her story of determination below where she details her challenging journey as a young high school mother-to-be, who overcame life-changing hurdles.
Watch Sacorra Harris' story and the stories of other expecting mothers from all age ranges on the below social media player (feel free to share the player with others!):
Find more facts and pregnancy educational tips on the Fresno BIH program above!