Event Title

Maternal Morbidity and Mortality in Native American Women: A Model for Restructuring Maternal Health Care Systems

Date

April 2022

Location

Schewel 208

Description

Native American women experience obstetrical complications or death at disproportionately higher rates than other demographic groups. According to the CDC, the American Indian/Alaska Native Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) was 32.4 compared to the total MMR of 17.2 deaths per 100,000 live births from 2011-2015. Through a literature review spanning 1987 - 2019, this research study investigated the structure of US maternal health care systems and how the lack of standardization, coordination of care, and training increased the risk of severe maternal morbidity and pregnancy-related death among Native American women in the Southwest and West Coast regions. To identify strategies for optimizing the quality of maternal care, three focus areas were examined: maternal care provider collaboration, labor-management practices and protocols, and cultural sensitivity. The findings include interdisciplinary practices that prioritize coordination among maternal care providers which lead to more cohesive and continuative care. Labor management protocols should include criticality assessments for severe morbidity and mortality to ensure the availability of specialized providers to address medical complications. Further, hospitals and birthing centers should require community-led cultural competency training for hospital staff. Finally, future research must explore evidence-based and culturally responsive solutions to address the maternal health needs of Native American women.

Presentation Type

Presentation

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Maternal Morbidity and Mortality in Native American Women: A Model for Restructuring Maternal Health Care Systems

Schewel 208

Native American women experience obstetrical complications or death at disproportionately higher rates than other demographic groups. According to the CDC, the American Indian/Alaska Native Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) was 32.4 compared to the total MMR of 17.2 deaths per 100,000 live births from 2011-2015. Through a literature review spanning 1987 - 2019, this research study investigated the structure of US maternal health care systems and how the lack of standardization, coordination of care, and training increased the risk of severe maternal morbidity and pregnancy-related death among Native American women in the Southwest and West Coast regions. To identify strategies for optimizing the quality of maternal care, three focus areas were examined: maternal care provider collaboration, labor-management practices and protocols, and cultural sensitivity. The findings include interdisciplinary practices that prioritize coordination among maternal care providers which lead to more cohesive and continuative care. Labor management protocols should include criticality assessments for severe morbidity and mortality to ensure the availability of specialized providers to address medical complications. Further, hospitals and birthing centers should require community-led cultural competency training for hospital staff. Finally, future research must explore evidence-based and culturally responsive solutions to address the maternal health needs of Native American women.