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A conversation on maternal health: United Healthcare highlights the issues among Black expectant mothers

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Posted at 10:15 PM, Feb 21, 2023

The maternal health of Black women continues to be a concern nationwide.

It's precisely the reason News 5’s Courtney Gousman rolled out the series Delivering Better Results to make sure our audience is aware of the issue.

That series caught the attention of officials at insurance provider United Healthcare, and Tuesday it invited her to participate in a forum discussing Black maternal health nationwide for Black History Month.

The virtual discussion was to help United Healthcare employees understand how critical the crisis is for black expectant mothers.

In Ohio, Black expectant mothers are 2.5 more likely to die from pregnancy-related issues compared to white women.

Courtney talked about some of the findings from her series that can help Black women have a more favorable outcome that's safe and healthy for both that mother and her baby.

“One is to find a provider you feel comfortable with and a lot of times for Black women that means someone who looks just like you— a Black woman— someone you feel comfortable talking to. And, the other thing is to get a doula,” Courtney said. “What I found is there's a program here in Cuyahoga County in Cleveland where you can obtain a free doula which will walk with you through your journey and year postpartum."

That free doula program is offered through Birthing Beautiful Communities and the goal is make sure mothers and their babies make it safely through pregnancy, delivery, and year postpartum. Since that program was launched in 2014, Cuyahoga County’s maternal mortality rate has dropped 20%.

About 450 united healthcare workers participated in Tuesday’s forum.

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