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The racial disparity in maternal mortality in Delaware is significant. The rate for Black residents is 36%, more than twice as high compared to white or Hispanic mothers.
Nationally, Black mothers have also faced a disproportionately high maternal mortality rate. In 2021, the rate reached nearly 70 deaths per 100,000 live births, more than 2.5 times higher than white mothers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Similarly, infant mortality rates mirror these disparities.
Addressing these issues requires additional support for marginalized groups, and that’s where the Do Care Doula Foundation Inc. comes in. Their new center in Dover will be a cornerstone in providing crucial assistance to these communities.
“It’s an extension of the nonprofit’s mission of decreasing birth disparities within the Black and brown community,” said Do Care’s executive director Erica Allen. “We’ve done a lot of community outreach events, virtual if you will, but we are now going to have a footprint within the community and be able to expand and provide more services by having an actual brick-and-mortar location.”
“Initially, the way we started was we just began training doulas, actually. So doulas being birth and postpartum support persons that are non-medical,” she added.
The group started delivering services virtually and offering help on location in 2021. The new center will help expand services to include a diaper bank, basic needs pantry, menstrual supplies, support groups, fitness classes, childbirth and lactation education, BIPOC doula training and development, and events featuring giveaways of essential baby items.