COVID-19 exacerbated existing concerns about the quality of care during pregnancy and postpartum for Black and Brown birthing people in Texas. Historical racism is a key factor in health inequities. Understanding the history of Black and Brown maternal care is critical context for understanding the lived experiences of pregnant people during COVID-19.
The lived experience survey was designed, conducted, and analyzed by Black and Brown mothers in Central Texas.
- Overt racism is still prevalent. Black, Indigenous and people of color experience micro-aggressions throughout their birthing experience. This can lead to a change of behavior such as switching doctors.
- Additionally, this racism leads to isolation and lack of support within the healthcare experience. BIPOC respondents reported being ignored, having to repeat themselves, etc.
- Moms report increased anxiety and isolation due to COVID-19, and these feelings are coupled with the racism, micro-aggressions, and lack of control over healthcare which intensifies these feelings for BIPOC moms.
- Responding BIPOC mothers say their pain is glossed over. Historically healthcare professionals erroneously attributed Black mothers with a higher tolerance for pain and led many providers to deny or offer less pain medication for black women. This survey signifies that BIPOC mothers still face this discrimination today.