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American Desert



According to the World Health Organization (WHO), maternal mortality around the world declined nearly 38% between 2000
and 2017, however, maternal mortality in the United States has increased by over 26%. Globally, ninety-four percent of all maternal
deaths occur in low and lower middle-income countries (WHO,2019).  The U.S. has one of the most technologically advanced heath care systems in the world and should be able to ensure the delivery of safe, high-quality maternity care. However, the maternal mortality rate remains stubbornly high, at 17.4 deaths per 100,000 live births totaling 658 deaths in 2018 alone. This is higher than most other developed and high-income countries. Most importantly, 66 percent of all pregnancy-related deaths were preventable.


From 2007-2016, the pregnancy-related mortality ratio for American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) women were two to three times higher than for white, Hispanic, and Asian/Pacific Islander women.  AIAN mothers are more likely than white women to experience discrimination,
delays in care and to see a different provider each time they attempt to access prenatal care. In fact, 25 percent of AIAN women report experiencing discrimination when going to the doctor or a clinic.  AIAN women often have long waits to see a health care provider for prenatal care, sometimes up to two hours for a 15-minute appointment.  AIAN women receive a lower quality of care than white women, and care that is devoid of traditional cultural birth practices found in Indigenous communities.

                                                                                                                 -Urban Indian Health Institute, Seattle Indian Health Board (2016).

The following links consists of documents that were developed specifically to address the current maternal health crisis.


Hear Her


Every Mother Counts

Arizona Department of Health Services: Maternal Health

JAMA Health Forum: Indigenous Maternal Health—A Crisis Demanding Attention

new contraception handouts added!


Body and Soul Sovereignty, United is happy to announce the addition of 20 FREE helpful and insightful handouts for anyone that has questions about Contraception and all of the available options.

To learn more click the button below to be directed to the After Baby page.


Body and Soul Sovereignty, United

We Support Self-Advocacy in the Health of Indigenous Women

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