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Midwife group working to improve infant mortality rates with new approach rooted in traditions

Posted at 5:40 PM, Feb 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-01 19:36:19-05

CLEVELAND — A group of African-American women are working to improve infant mortality rates in their community. Christian Farmer runs Birthing Beautiful Communities. Farmer addresses the problem with a new approach, rooted in old traditions.

“It is very important to have black midwives caring for black women,” said Farmer. “Representation really does matter. We lack black birth workers across the country. Having a team of a black midwife, a black doula is a dream team. There are cultural barriers between white providers and black patients - that’s just the reality, that’s just the truth. You just want someone who understands you.”

According to Cuyahoga County Board of Health, black babies are almost three times more likely to die before their first birthday than white babies. Cuyahoga County Board of Health attributes the problem to prematurity, sleep-related deaths and birth defects.

“This is one of the reasons we continue to stay in this crisis,” said certified nurse midwife, Da’na Langford. “If you have providers that look like your patients, they do better; representation matters.”

Learn more about Birthing Beautiful Communities on their website here.