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Reproductive InjusticeRacism, Pregnancy, and Premature Birth$
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Dana-Ain Davis

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781479812271

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479812271.001.0001

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(p.199) Conclusion
Reproductive Injustice

Dána-Ain Davis

NYU Press

Having examined the history of prematurity, Black women’s experiences of pregnancy, labor, and birthing, and their assessments of medical racism, this chapter gestures toward some approaches to address Black women’s high rates of prematurity. These approaches may also be applied to rates of infant and maternal mortality, as well as to addressing the adverse birth outcomes of other groups. Presently, much emphasis is placed on stereotyping the characteristics believed to cause prematurity. The general approach is to intervene in the problem. This chapter suggests that preventive approaches to birth outcomes must be deployed with the same commitment as is done with interventions. Transforming the model of care requires viewing pregnancy as an event, not a risk. And, unless risk is well established, pregnancy care need not be medicalized. In the event that medical interventions are necessary, a team-based model of care is preferable. Medical providers should be sharing the care with the family, a midwife, and a doula. Most important, medical professionals must acknowledge the ways that they uphold racism in their practice of medicine.

Keywords:   model of care, preventive approaches, medical racism, doula

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