Black Maternal Health Week highlights disparities in outcomes for moms and kids

Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist says the Whitmer administration is increasing funding for doulas and more.

Black mom and child doing school work together

Women in America are dying at a higher rate from pregnancy-related causes than in any other developed nation, according to data from the National Institutes of Health. On top of that, Black women in the U.S. are three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications than white women.

This week marks Black Maternal Health Week.

Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist was the chair for the Michigan Coronavirus Task Force on Racial Disparities.

“We’ve expanded Medicaid coverage after babies are born from two months to one full year to make sure that people are taken care of after their children are born,” Gilchrist tells WDET.

The Whitmer administration has also increased funding for doulas by making sure the birthing professionals are also covered by Medicaid. Gilchrist says he’s confident the state legislature will continue funding when it goes to work on a new budget this month.

“We’ve made investments in reducing racial disparities because they are ultimately about saving lives in the state of Michigan,” Gilchrist says. “We propose those who were able to find money for that in our state budgets in previous years and will be able to do so going forward. And I think this democratic-led legislature is particularly interested in this issue and so we’re going to be looking forward to partnering with them on those investments.”

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  • Russ McNamara
    Russ McNamara is the host of All Things Considered for 101.9 WDET, presenting local news to the station’s loyal listeners. He's been an avid listener of WDET since he moved to metro Detroit in 2002.