Program makes strides to reduce racial inequality for expectant mothers

Marcus Solis Image
Wednesday, February 8, 2023
Program looks to reduce racial inequality for expectant mothers
The Lower Hudson Valley Perinatal Network is providing maternal health care to expectant mothers, especially those of color. Marcus Solis has the story.

YONKERS, New York (WABC) -- A program is making strides to match expectant moms of color with the care they need to give birth safely.

Alizely Lopez is expecting to deliver her first child any day now. On Wednesday, a team from the Lower Hudson Valley Perinatal Network checked in, dropping off diapers and a baby bag, but they've been with her every step of the way.

"Instead of me just going to the doctor by myself, or if I'm having a hard day, I have other women that I can rely on and show up and support me, that I can talk to if I need to," Lopez said.

The program matches expectant moms, especially those of color, with everything from doulas to lactation specialists. It is one of the groups that will benefit from a $1 million initiative launched by Westchester County to reduce racial inequality in healthcare.

Black women are four times more likely to deliver pre-term.

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"The outcomes have not been good for Black women through their pregnancy and delivery, and we want that to get better," Westchester County Executive George Latimer said.

Lopez will be delivering at St. John's Riverside Hosptial, another partner in the initiative.

The money will fund two positions addressing health equity and pay for anti-bias training for medical and maternity staff.

"Many Black women say that when they go to their physicians or their health care provider that they don't listen to them," said Cheryl Brannan of Sister to Sister International.

Lopez sees it as money well spent.

"Latino community and Black community, these moms, this would be so beneficial to them because they actually get the help that they need," Lopez said.

At a crucial time of need.


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