|Getty Images photo via Stateline|
"Black midwives could be part of the solution, especially during the coronavirus pandemic, but restrictions on midwifery make it difficult to practice in many states," Simpson reports. She begins her story by noting a booked-up midwifery center in Memphis, which serves Tennessee, Arkansas and Mississippi "rural areas far from hospitals and obstetrics units. The center’s clients are primarily black and other women of color."
“They’ve told us they’re going to risk it all and have an unassisted home birth,” Nikia Grayson, the center's director of perinatal services, told Simpson. “That’s very scary, and that’s what people are researching and seeing as a viable option. ... It can go left real fast.”
Simpson writes, "The stakes are especially high for rural black women soon to give birth in Southern states. They have less access to health care providers and travel longer distances to care, while systemic racism and health care inequities put their lives at risk."