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OneRouge Community Check-In - Week 114



Week #114

The focus of the conversation is a continuation on our 9 Drivers of Poverty series on Maternal Health & Teen Pregnancy with a focus on "The Medical Divide: Gaps In Care Leaves Gaps in Families "with featured speakers:

  • Robin Gruenfeld (Director of Collective Impact, March of Dimes)

  • Deneen Robinson (Director of Religions Policy Strategy, National Birth Equity Collaborative)

Enlight, Unite, & Ignite!


Quick Links: Notes, Zoom Chat, Community Announcements

 

Speaker Notes


Robin Gruenfeld (Director of Collective Impact, March of Dimes)


Rev. Deneen Robinson (Director of Religions Policy Strategy, National Birth Equity Collaborative)

This month we are doing a program talking about maternal mental health for those who are experiencing maternal mortality. There are two things that come to mind for me. We don’t really understand the connection between access to comprehensive reproductive health care and infant mortality. When it comes to legislation, especially in the south, while folks care about mothers not dying, they’re also not sure. In situations where the mother is at risk, the baby is also at risk. If we’re not dealing with the structural issues, then these things are going to continue in this country.


What do we mean when we say the words infant mortality and why are the numbers in Louisiana not changing in any meaningful way?

Robin Gruenfeld - The numbers have not changed in 10 years. In our most recent ranking, we’re second highest in the nation for infant mortality rate. Infant mortality is death within the first year of life. Death is happening in the first 27 days. Top causes are extreme low birth weight, sleep death, and congenital anomalies. Nearly half of those deaths are from extreme prematurity. And that’s why we’re seeing it in the first 27 days. We have to talk about mom’s health. Infections, diabetes, and other infections due to mother’s health are resulting in births that are too soon. When we disaggregate - black infants are more than twice as likely to die as their white counterparts. We can’t have a conversation about babies without having a conversation about the health of Black families.

If Black babies are at higher risk, what can we do?

Rev. Deneen Robinson - I believe that it can get better. The question is not whether it can, but are we willing to do as a society what it needs to get better. Those of us doing the work are both part of the problem and the solution. We have to have conversations about how racism shows up in our work and as people. We have to have conversations about whether or not we want to have true equity when it comes to distribution of power and are we willing to own what’s happening in the world right now as it relates to policy and forcing folk to remain pregnant. We have to push back against the idea that fear is really driving how everyone is showing up and unfortunately fear causes people to make decisions that are harmful to the least of these, which is not just the babies. You also have to talk about and be willing to be real about the laws that are being passed in our nation and the decisions that have been made, none of which support a healthy family. If we don’t have a healthy environment, none of us are going to be able to survive. IT is a hostile environment when the parent has to go through all these barriers to get to care. If I don’t have transportation, if I don’t have paid sick leave, if I don’t have the ability to respond to my own health issues, how can I parent? How can I create a safe and loving environment for this person brought into the world. If we as a society can’t provide that, then why are we forcing people to do that.


Can you share the connection between anti-aborition and white procreation?

Rev. Deneen Robinson - In doing my own research to understand why we got here I found a book called Birth Dearth, in which they lay out the strategy they are proposing. The number of white men in our country has gotten to being low and it’s impossible for them to be the majority as it stands right now. The three pronged strategy was to incentivise folks to have children. They would make Black and Brown the working poor. Northern Europeans don’t want to come here. The people who want to come are Black and Brown and poor people. The only option was to take away abortion access. Understanding that it was a risk, but that they would get white babies out of it. We end up perpetuating harm on people. They hope the harm will be Black and Brown folk.


Are there Brown numbers and where do they fall when we’re talking about forced birthing? How does this work for those that are neither one or the other?

Robin Gruenfeld - The first thing I know is that for Latin X families. Brown is not monolithic. When we say Brown, I’m going to start with Latin X. The first thing I want to point out is that Latin X falls between white and Black on the prematurity measures. For native populations we have a maternal health crisis. It depends on who we are talking about. In southeast Louisiana we don’t have a huge population of native folks but we do have a growing population of Latin X folks. As the population is growing, the prematurity rate is growing faster. What we’re saying is that as people are living in the country, when they first move here, they have normal birth weight, and then the longer they live in America the worse they get. The longer they experience racism in America, the worse the outcomes.


From what I've heard, medical textbooks and training are still centering around white cis people. Is that changing? Are we making moves towards understanding/believing women's cues for pain? Or how to assess physical symptoms without racial bias?

Rev. Deneen Robinson - No.

Robin Gruenfeld - We only started aggregating data by race at the CDC starting in 2017. If you don’t disaggregate, you can’t see it.


Can anyone talk about the connection between healthy food access and pregnancy issues, like pre-eclampsia?

Robin Gruenfeld - Modern medicine has diminishing returns. There is no pill as good as handwashing at diminishing disease. What we really need to do is dismantle racism. 53% of pregnancies in Louisiana were unintended. Those are people who just got pregnant. Intention is huge. When we’re talking about mom’s health, we’re talking about stress, not going to the doctor, etc. The big thing is when it comes to healthy food - the disparities of prenatal care doesn’t explain anything about the disparity. Access to prenatal care is great, but it’s almost too late. We have to talk about adequate transportation systems, we have to talk about reducing barriers to healthcare access.


Please speak to the impact of environmental racism on healthy births. Black people are not cellularly deficient and not creating these issues by eating fried chicken, help me understand how these environmental injustices are tied to infant morality and maternal risks?

Robin Gruenfeld - My background is in environmental health. A lot of time people think about toxic when they think about environmental health. In Louisiana we have cancer alley, but when we talk about the environment we have to talk about other factors. Is your neighborhood bounded by two sides with a railroad track? Do you feel safe taking a walk in your neighborhood? These things contribute very much to the wellbeing of Black families.

Rev. Deneen Robinson - When we talk about the environment we have to talk about the climate, access to food, access to transportation, and the home and the situation the family has to live in. Is there gun violence? Is there lots of crime? Do they have refrigerators? Is there green space? Can you walk in your neighborhood? Do you feel safe? There are so many things that are tied together. It is the way that the lack of these things cause stress in the body. Cardiovascular related issues. Intra Family violence. It is a compounding series of traumas that get us to this place. And racism as the underbelly unfortunately sets the family up for a challenging situation.


Are there state programs?

Rev. Deneen Robinson - There are programs that the state offers to support families as it relates to supporting the mom as they engage in parenting. Planned parent provides nursing support for 2 years after the baby is born, which sets the framework for the success of the parent and a healthy baby. There are programs that offer care items that the person may need. But unfortunately because the crisis pregnancy centers receive the same money.

Robin Gruenfeld - Prenatal quality collaborative is working to reduce the maternal and infant mortality in Louisiana. They are working clinically primarily. We also have at AIM that are focused on the postpartum period, which is very dangerous for mom. If any of you have a postpartum mom, please encourage her to go to the doctor. Those are warning signs that don’t go away. HEAR HER CDC Campaign: https://www.cdc.gov/hearher/index.html

https://www.marchofdimes.org/research/maternity-care-deserts-report.aspx


Criminalizing childhood deaths in children of color when that isn’t the same in white parents. We have a subpar prenatal care system in the carceral systems. How is this side impacting the health of babies.


Rev. Deneen Robinson - We are actually working and watching policy as it relates to prenatal care. We use a reproductive justice framework. IT’s not just one thing. The situation you shared regarding doctors in a carceral environments, I didn’t know that so I’m going to have to go do some work on that. I do know that one of the things we’ve been actively doing across the south is that while folk are incarcerated they are able to be on medical wards and they don’t have to be shackled while accessing care, including giving birth.

Robin Gruenfeld - March of Dimes tries to stay out of abortion. When we start talking about the carceral system, that’s different. The first Black leader of March of Dimes is starting to look in places that it hasn’t looked before. The conversation is shifting, but I don’t think fast enough for the women who are currently incarcerated.


We have not seen black fetuses and black drawings until the last year. Representation matters.

Rev. Deneen Robinson - It does matter. When not everything in your life is measured by the color of your skin, it doesn’t make an impact. That is why representation matters.


Sherreta Harrison - I’d like to lift up that the first time I hadn’t seen a Black baby in utero was in 2021. How is it that I had never seen it and that it never occurred to me that I needed to see it. It is just a reminder how stitched racism is. We’re all fighting the good fight but we have to remember that we have specific biases and blinders. Even seeing the pictures reminded me how ingrained whiteness and white supremacy is in our culture. It doesn’t miss any system or any culture.


Rev Anderson - Inaccessibility to prenatal care for high risk families and the intersection of that to transportation. We don’t have a comprehensive public transit system. A lot of places where people live, Uber and Lift will not go.


There was a study that shows the link between transportation and infant mortality. It looked at the impact of transportation issues.

March of Dimes did a report on maternity care deserts. We took a look at the parishes that have fewer than two birthing hospitals and 60 providers per area. March of Dimes also released a paper about how prenatal care is late. When we looked at 33 causes of disparity, we saw limited connection with most. Racism becomes a wallpaper in our lives, we just don’t see it.

https://www.marchofdimes.org/research/maternity-care-deserts-report.aspx


Liz Sheppard - Check out the JJ Way. At her clinic there’s no judgment. There’s nothing but support. How racism harms pregnant women -- and what can help - https://www.ted.com/talks/miriam_zoila_perez_how_racism_harms_pregnant_women_and_what_can_help?language=en


Aftershock is a movie released on Hulu on the 18th.


Robin Gruenfeld - We send out action alerts periodically. Please sign up to become a march of dimes advocate! https://www.marchofdimes.org/advocacy/action-center.aspx

https://www.aimcci.org/nhsa-aim-cci-racial-equity-learning-series-rels/ - take a free equity training

Zoom Chat

09:29:26 From Helena Williams to Everyone:

I'm going to let everyone in

09:30:09 From Lindi Rubin Spalatin to Everyone:

Good morning!

09:30:57 From Alexis Jones - Habitat for Humanity to Everyone:

Morning!

09:33:43 From One Rouge to Everyone:

Good morning, Y’all!

09:34:05 From Patrisha’s iPhone to Everyone:

Good Morning team

09:34:14 From Kim Mosby to Everyone:

Happy Friday All! Hope you're having a good morning.

09:38:12 From One Rouge to Everyone:

infant mortality is death in the first year of life

09:38:43 From One Rouge to Everyone:

extreme prematurity, sleep related death, and congenital anomalies are the top 3 causes of death

09:40:13 From Morgan Udoh (She/Her/They) to Everyone:

Makes sense that in a place that doesn’t guarantee equitable access to maternal care nor adequate protections for pregnant workers before and after birth… would have an increase in infant mortality. And that’s without even accounting for medical bias around labor and delivery.

09:41:06 From One Rouge to Everyone:

the question is "as a society are we willing to do what it will take for it to get better”

09:41:26 From One Rouge to Everyone:

@morgan #TRUTH

09:42:09 From One Rouge to Everyone:

I was telling a friend a few nights ago that I haven't been able to finish Medical Apartheid for that very reason

09:44:42 From Morgan Udoh (She/Her/They) to Everyone:

I spent a good amount of my first pregnancy prepping my husband with questions and things to look for so that he could advocate for my care in case I was incapacitated. Luckily I also had an awesome doctor who prioritized my well-being. That’s a rarity.

09:44:42 From Helena Williams to Everyone:

From what I've heard, medical textbooks and training are still centering around white cis people. Is that changing? Are we making moves towards understanding/believing women's cues for pain? Or how to assess physical symptoms without racial bias?

09:45:21 From Alexis Jones - Habitat for Humanity to Everyone:

^^

09:46:56 From Alexis Jones - Habitat for Humanity to Everyone:

The logic isn't logic-ing

09:46:58 From Morgan Udoh (She/Her/They) to Everyone:

Really Ciswhite male focused. Also… let’s not forget that modern gynecology was forged through inhumane experiments on enslaved Black women.

09:47:07 From One Rouge to Everyone:

@alexis LOL!

09:47:28 From Robin Gruenfeld to Everyone:

thank you @morgan

09:47:45 From Rodneyna Hart to Everyone:

The system works exactly as it was intended

09:48:30 From Samantha Morgan to Everyone:

Can you spell out the title?

09:48:39 From Robin Gruenfeld to Everyone:

Birth Dearth

09:48:42 From Samantha Morgan to Everyone:

Thanks

09:48:44 From Rodneyna Hart to Everyone:

and eugenic roots

09:48:53 From Helena Williams to Everyone:

And they said babies didnt feel pain until the 1980s!!

09:49:04 From Morgan Udoh (She/Her/They) to Everyone:

^WOW

09:50:44 From Morgan Udoh (She/Her/They) to Everyone:

Latinx/Hispanic is not a racial category. You can be white, indigenous, Black, asiatic.

09:51:00 From Sherreta Harrison to Everyone:

There is not a single issue we are facing as a community and a country that isn't intricately tied to racism and anti-blackness.

09:51:18 From One Rouge to Everyone:

and ya right, @sherreta

09:51:34 From Helena Williams to Everyone:

Can anyone talk about the connection between healthy food access and pregnancy issues, like pre-eclampsia?

09:51:39 From Alexis Jones - Habitat for Humanity to Everyone:

Yes!! @Sherreta

09:51:56 From Sherreta Harrison to Everyone:

When we don't address racism, we miss an entire opportunity for solutions.

09:52:22 From Morgan Udoh (She/Her/They) to Everyone:

^agreed. Black people at the intersection of every other identity (class, ethnicity, disability, immigrant status, gender identity, etc.) are the treated as the least.

09:52:24 From Rodneyna Hart to Everyone:

Racism is and has always been fatal

09:54:49 From Sherreta Harrison to Everyone:

A viral image of a Black fetus is highlighting the need for diversity in medical illustrations

https://www.cnn.com/2021/12/09/health/black-fetus-medical-illustration-diversity-wellness-cec/index.html

09:55:26 From Rev. Alexis Anderson to Everyone:

Please speak to the impact of environmental racism on healthy births.

09:55:43 From Bre'Anna Perkins - Capital Area United Way to Everyone:

^^

09:56:15 From Sherreta Harrison to Everyone:

The fact that I had not recognized that I'd never seen a black baby in utero until this article speaks to pervasiveness of Whiteness in medicine and they way it is indoctrinated in all of us!

09:57:14 From Helena Williams to Everyone:

10000% Sherreta

09:57:28 From Rev. Alexis Anderson to Everyone:

Where is LDH in addressing these issues? What are some of the programs, research, etc. being produced?

09:58:33 From Sherreta Harrison to Everyone:

it's almost like we can't wait until folks are preparing to give birthto say they deserve access to healthy foods, healthy care, etc.... 🤔

09:58:54 From Robin Gruenfeld to Everyone:

Sherreta - exactly.

09:59:04 From Sherreta Harrison to Everyone:

Like my worth is NOT tied to my ability to give birth????

09:59:21 From Alexis Jones - Habitat for Humanity to Everyone:

And Louisiana continues to carry out environmental justices in places like St. James KNOWING the cancer rates

09:59:35 From Toni Bankston to Everyone:

@Sherreta. Thank you for the article. Eye-opening and impactful.

10:00:10 From Judy Touzin to Everyone:

This organization out of California is engaged in this exact work. https://www.expectingjustice.org/

10:00:46 From Judy Touzin to Everyone:

There is an interview with the org's leader Zea Malawa here at SSIR https://ssir.org/articles/entry/interview_bringing_an_anti_racist_approach_to_collective_impact

10:01:20 From Morgan Udoh (She/Her/They) to Everyone:

I just found out in the past two years that there are different (higher) baselines for Black people for kidney function tests. And when I look around the city at the Dialysis clinics increasing on every other corner… I wonder… how that has contributed.

10:02:09 From Rev. Alexis Anderson to Everyone:

We have an entire crisis in mass incarceration with criminalizing childhood deaths in families of color and not using the same standard for similarly situated circumstances in White families? We also provide sub par prenatal care to women who are incarcerated (this population is primarily pretrial). Can the speakers touch on this topic?

10:02:28 From Sherreta Harrison to Everyone:

And once again we see how each of these issues are interrelated and cannot be addressed separately.

10:02:31 From Pat's iPhone to Everyone:

Usually, low paying jobs don’t afford the flexibility to leave for whatever reasons;

Doctor visits for the family, period nor parent participation and engagement in their child’s school

10:02:54 From Alexis Jones - Habitat for Humanity to Everyone:

https://www.brainfacts.org/Thinking-Sensing-and-Behaving/Diet-and-Lifestyle/2018/Noise-Pollution-Isnt-Just-Annoying-Its-Bad-for-Your-Health-062718

10:04:26 From Rev. Alexis Anderson to Everyone:

With the explosion of rates for Entergy and other utilities do we measure or have a rapid response program to insure pregnant women have necessary utilities to insure the health and wellness of the mom.

10:04:50 From Morgan Udoh (She/Her/They) to Everyone:

^without CPS being called and it being punitive

10:05:17 From Sherreta Harrison to Everyone:

+1 Morgan

10:06:53 From One Rouge to Everyone:

@morgan, whistleblowers are starting to come forward and talk about how CPS, DCFS are fundamentally just separating families and not doing much to help

10:08:11 From Morgan Udoh (She/Her/They) to Everyone:

Not just advocate but support. Help them get care. Make it the path of least resistance.

10:08:23 From rh76751 to Everyone:

HEAR HER CDC Campaign: https://www.cdc.gov/hearher/index.html

10:08:40 From Pat's iPhone to Everyone:

True True

10:08:53 From One Rouge to Everyone:

i think the word you are lookign for is "incompetency"

10:09:44 From Robin Gruenfeld to Everyone:

https://www.marchofdimes.org/research/maternity-care-deserts-report.aspx

10:12:25 From Pat's iPhone to Everyone:

That’s awesome- Geaux March of Dimes

10:13:05 From elizabethshephard to Everyone:

so not a trope!

10:13:10 From elizabethshephard to Everyone:

it does matter.

10:13:27 From Helena Williams to Everyone:

Well even just being able to identify symptoms in darker skin tones…

10:13:33 From Alexis Jones - Habitat for Humanity to Everyone:

It's also really important for white people to see people who don't look like us

10:13:46 From Alexis Jones - Habitat for Humanity to Everyone:

In books, songs, movies, all things

10:13:48 From Morgan Udoh (She/Her/They) to Everyone:

Looking into even a simple rash is a pain in the a**

10:14:25 From Helena Williams to Everyone:

EXACTLY MORGAN!

10:16:04 From Deneen Robinson to Everyone:

I am going through security. I will be unavailable for in about 5 min. Blessings. Everyone. Thank you.

10:16:08 From Robin Gruenfeld to Everyone:

goosebumps, Sherreta

10:16:14 From elizabethshephard to Everyone:

So true. It requires constant reminders and awareness.

10:16:20 From Morgan Udoh (She/Her/They) to Everyone:

We haven’t even gotten into the lack of competent care for trans men/NB persons going through gestation, birth, and postpartum…

10:17:06 From Morgan Udoh (She/Her/They) to Everyone:

Thank you Sheretta ❤️❤️

10:17:21 From Helena Williams to Everyone:

Loved watching that conversation between two representatives(?) about defining “women"

10:17:51 From elizabethshephard to Everyone:

It gets back to everyone’s healing. We all are at risk of creating a “new solution” that is just as oppressive as the old one - even with different faces of leadership.

10:18:07 From One Rouge to Everyone:

so much so, @liz!

10:19:00 From Samantha Morgan to Everyone:

Can you try to find that study and link it?

10:19:04 From Robin Gruenfeld to Everyone:

https://www.marchofdimes.org/research/maternity-care-deserts-report.aspx

10:19:20 From Morgan Udoh (She/Her/They) to Everyone:

If you’re a high risk pregnancy… you have double the appointments. Every two weeks plus the baby has their own Dr. in Utero… imagine keeping an job and the price of transportation for that proper level of care.

10:19:20 From One Rouge to Everyone:

that is so disconcerting that a mother could lose her life because she needed to ride a bus

10:22:00 From One Rouge to Everyone:

…that “something” is racism

10:22:14 From Samantha Morgan to Everyone:

"Racism becomes a wallpaper in our lives, we just don’t see it."

10:22:21 From elizabethshephard to Everyone:

How racism harms pregnant women -- and what can help - TEDwww.ted.com › talks › miriam_zoila_perez_how_racis...

10:23:18 From Robin Gruenfeld to Everyone:

sign up to become a march of dimes advocate! https://www.marchofdimes.org/advocacy/action-center.aspx

10:23:38 From Morgan Udoh (She/Her/They) to Everyone:

I know a soon to be in labor mom dealing with housing insecurity. If anyone knows of resources to send her way please email me anything. You can think of. She already has 3 kids and family assistance is not a thing due to DV. Morgan@thewallsproject.org Thank you in advance!

10:23:46 From Robin Gruenfeld to Everyone:

Become a perinatal safe spot!

10:24:17 From Samantha Morgan to Everyone:

Liz - the link didn't work for the TED talk. Can you retry

10:24:39 From elizabethshephard to Everyone:

https://www.ted.com/talks/miriam_zoila_perez_how_racism_harms_pregnant_women_and_what_can_help?language=en

10:24:40 From Sherreta Harrison to Everyone:

So much good information here to follow up on. Thanks everyone for sharing!

10:24:44 From elizabethshephard to Everyone:

Hope this one works!

10:24:58 From Samantha Morgan to Everyone:

That works

10:25:34 From Sherreta Harrison to Everyone:

So much good information to follow up on! Thanks for sharing Folks!!

10:25:53 From Toni Bankston to Everyone:

Thank you to our great speakers. Very informative.

10:25:58 From Robin Gruenfeld to Everyone:

https://www.aimcci.org/nhsa-aim-cci-racial-equity-learning-series-rels/

10:26:06 From Robin Gruenfeld to Everyone:

take a free equity training ^^^

10:26:24 From Kim Mosby to Everyone:

Thanks for the great discussion! Hope you all have a great weekend!

10:26:51 From Deneen Robinson to Everyone:

I am back

10:27:12 From Pat's iPhone to Everyone:

Clean up in Zion city

9-1

Cadillac street near airport

10:27:35 From Verna Bradley-Jackson to Everyone:

Take care Everyone

10:27:37 From Rodneyna Hart to Everyone:

Next week Thursday, July 21, 9am-3pm, we are doin Family Friendly programming. It is only $5 per person that day. We will be featuring the DCRT organization with a special visit from our LG.

10:28:28 From elizabethshephard to Everyone:

Yes!

10:28:44 From Morgan Udoh (She/Her/They) to Everyone:

Great convo!

10:28:47 From Pat's iPhone to Everyone:

Great discussion

10:28:59 From Pat's iPhone to Everyone:

file:///var/mobile/Library/SMS/Attachments/12/02/DE403560-34EA-4F05-B125-65C8E88875A9/IMG_2891.heic

10:29:04 From One Rouge to Everyone:

birthequity.org for events

10:29:29 From Rev. Alexis Anderson to Everyone:

I'm in!

10:30:21 From Robin Gruenfeld to Everyone:

much stronger argument than roe

10:30:31 From elizabethshephard to Everyone:

Wow.

10:30:33 From Lindi Rubin Spalatin to Everyone:

Yes: I am Jewish and in Jewish Law Abortion is allowed. In Judiasm life begins at the first breath

10:31:08 From Lindi Rubin Spalatin to Everyone:

The life of the pregnant person always takes priority in Jewish law.

10:31:27 From Morgan Udoh (She/Her/They) to Everyone:

^❤️

10:31:46 From Pat's iPhone to Everyone:

Yes!!

10:31:48 From One Rouge to Everyone:

That is exactly what he said, @Lindi. I’m not Jewish and didn't know.

10:32:02 From Pat's iPhone to Everyone:

For sure an icon!!

10:32:38 From Pat's iPhone to Everyone:

Patricia Robinson!!

10:32:56 From Pat's iPhone to Everyone:

Amen!

Community Announcements

Metromorphosis is celebrating its 10 year Anniversary!

MetroMorphosis is launching the 10 for 10 Community Fund as a part of its 10 Year Celebration. And MM Week is July 12-19


Rev. Anderson - The 988 rollout will happen tomorrow. It is to focus on suicide. To not have police intervention unless it is life threatening. It will give you localized resources. I don’t think a lot of people know about it.


Clean up in Zion city 9-1 - Cadillac street near airport


Next week Thursday, July 21, 9am-3pm, we are doin Family Friendly programming. It is only $5 per person that day. We will be featuring the DCRT organization with a special visit from our LG.