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Efforts to Reduce Black Maternal Mortality Complicated by COVID-19 []


By Xenia Shih Bion, California Health Care Foundation, April 20, 2020

Latoyha Young had a birth plan. She was going to have the baby in Sacramento with community doula Joy Dean by her side. Dean was funded by the county’s Black Child Legacy Campaign, which works to reduce the disproportional number of Black infant and child deaths in Sacramento.

But in mid-March, when Young went into labor just as Governor Gavin Newsom ordered Californians to stay at home to avoid spreading the novel coronavirus, her plans went awry. Dean drove them to the hospital only to discover that new restrictions on visitors in labor and delivery rooms meant that Young would have to labor alone, Eileen Guo reported in the New York Times.

“I’m not worried about the virus,” Young told Guo. Instead, she was worried that without her doula by her side, the delivery room staff would not listen to her.

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