Ep 72: How Structural Racism & Implicit Bias Create Disparities in Maternal Care for Black Families – All About Pregnancy and Birth Podcast
by Dr. Nicole Calloway Rankins

Episode #72: How Structural Racism & Implicit Bias Create Disparities in Maternal Care for Black Families

This episode is a bit different than what I usually talk about on the podcast, but I hope that you will tune in and learn something new about maternal healthcare and racism in our country.  It's important that we all help in the fight against racism in our own way. 

In this episode I'm talking about the disparities we see in maternal healthcare & outcomes for Black mamas and their babies. I describe some of the structural racism we see in the medical field (which also shows up in other systems throughout the US), what implicit bias is, and how these forces add up to create a difficult environment for Black people - including mamas - all over the country.

I also share some of my personal experiences with racism in my career, a few stories from friends and colleagues, and a couple instances where I witnessed the medical system mistreating Black women. I hope that this episode educates you and inspires you to think about what you can do to support Black people and help dismantle racism in our country, whether that's talking to your friends and family, committing to raising anti-racist kids, or helping reform your profession so it becomes truly equal for everyone.

In this Episode, You’ll Learn About:

  • Why it is important to talk about how racism contributes to disparities in maternal and infant care
  • Some of the numbers behind these disparities, including for hypertension, postpartum hemorrhage, and infant mortality 
  • What implicit bias is and how it affects doctors' approach to caring for Black patients
  • What "weathering" is and how racism affects the health of Black people, including moms
  • Some stories from myself and others about racism in the medical system, both as a physician and as a patient
  • Why we should all consider what we can do to be anti-racist in our lives and work

Links Mentioned In The Episode

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Download A Transcript

Click here to download a transcript.


Pregnancy, hospital birth, maternal health outcomes, postpartum, Black mothers, disparities, structural racism, medical system, implicit bias

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