Diverse Colorado Voices Report highlights solutions for maternal health
The maternal mortality rate in the U.S. is higher than any other developed country in the world and climbing fast. Though the rate in Colorado is relatively low, with roughly 35 deaths per year, 80 percent of those are preventable. A new report, Diverse Colorado Voices: Community-Based Solutions for the Perinatal Period, by Clayton Early Learning, Families Forward Resource Center, and the Raise Colorado coalition implores us to address this issue with an antiracist lens as we begin working towards policy and community-based solutions. The report was published in partnership with numerous community members, parents, doulas, midwives, and perinatal professionals and hopes to drive comprehensive, equitable solutions for the perinatal period.
The report details findings from five virtual listening sessions, which included 66 participants total. By identifying community led solutions through the array of experiences presented, Diverse Colorado Voices intends to unify advocacy efforts by contextualizing maternal and infant health care experiences across the state.
Three major themes impacting perinatal outcomes emerged in the listening sessions: systemic racism, lack of postpartum support, and systems-level inadequacies such as insurance coverage gaps. Because women of color face significantly more barriers in accessing maternal health care due to racist policies and practices in the U.S., their stories voiced through this report become even more critical in informing solutions.
The report makes 24 different policy recommendations. By identifying areas of improvement, this report can aid stakeholders in identifying and implementing anti-racist policies and practices in the perinatal period — a time when they are needed most. Click here to view the full report.