The purpose of my research is to examine infant mortality prevention practices for black women in order to gain a better understanding of inequities in the reproductive health care system. In our society, the black infant mortality rate is significantly higher than the white infant mortality rate and can largely be attributed to the day-to day stress black women face in their lives, lack of access to quality healthcare, and a disconnect between pregnant black women and their healthcare providers. I conducted two case studies of reproductive health care programs to explore how these problems are being pursued. Telephone interviews of administrative staff from two organizations whose primary goal was infant mortality prevention were conducted in New York State.
Results suggest that providing social support, as well as utilizing a midwifery model of prenatal care, are effective ways to help women have a healthy pregnancy and delivery. Providing this type of care may help improve minority infant survival rates; further research needs and funding of these programs are discussed.