By: Maddie Winter, Joy Xie, Sarah Yashar-Gershman, Neenah Young

(Artwork credit: Bread Rest House by Kamilah House-Lewis)


Maternal morbidity and mortality is a pressing global health issue both abroad and in the United States. New Jersey, although, one of the wealthiest states, is ranked 47th in maternal health outcomes, especially maternal mortality. However, this endemic does not affect everyone equally. Black women are significantly more likely to die during childbirth compared to white women, as well as to experience other significant adverse health outcomes. This project aims to unravel the historical structures that contribute to these high rates of maternal mortality especially in New Jersey, which is a highly segregated state. On our StoryMap, we have examined how the history of race and medicine and the social determinants of health have contributed to these evident disparities. We especially focus on the role of the hospitals (or lack thereof) and their impact on maternal morbidity and mortality. Examining maternal health in New Jersey is especially important because it illuminates how disparities in adequate care and maternal health outcomes are frequently influenced by the location in which women live and what structures and resources they have access to. Ultimately, our project aims to reveal how the structures of racism, socioeconomic inequity and an unequal healthcare system combine to constrain women’s agency and life opportunities. These outcomes signify the pervasive ways that racist structures and legacies persist even in wealthy and “progressive” regions of the U.S.


Click HERE or the initial image to access the StoryMap

 PDF of  Maternal Mortality Fact Sheet



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