Respectful Maternity Care

The Problem

The maternal health crisis in the U.S. is worsening, and we need a culture of Respectful Maternity Care to change it. Maternal health inequities weigh on Black and Indigenous communities, and data shows that it is due to structural and interpersonal racism. We need to be honest about how Black women are treated during maternity care.

Despite the prevalence of racist microaggressions and bias fueling disrespect in labor and delivery care in the U.S., there are limited tools that can measure disrespect or that support provider behavior change. Systems acknowledge racism in maternity care and explore innovative anti-racist models for quality improvement.

The Plan

Reproductive Health (RH) Impact and a wide array of clinical, philanthropic, academic, and community-based partners are creating tools and supporting infrastructure for better birth outcomes. Respectful Maternity Care is a radical shift in practice to reduce inequities in birth outcomes.

Providers are trained and socialized to practice in ways that perpetuate racial biases. Medical training and quality improvement is slowly moving towards equitable models of care, but most of our workforce has been trained under an institutionally racist system. Establishing Respectful Maternity Care is normalizing a new model of care at the core of medical practice!

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