Rising Maternal Mortality Rates and Community Needs (2019)

Alana Bibeau, Teaching Professor of Sociology

The United States is one country out of just eight where the risks of childbirth have risen in the last generation. Furthermore, the national risk of maternal mortality is four times as high for Black women than for that of White women. Following the 2019 tragic death of Lashonda Hazard and her unborn baby in Providence, Rhode Island, where she sought hospital treatment of severe abdominal pain and was sent home, Dr. Alana Bibeau (Sociology and Anthropology) in analyzing the needs of expecting Black mothers in Rhode Island. Dr. Bibeau will use a qualitative research method based on community participation: the photovoice method. The photovoice method involves the community in mention using photography to tell their stories, needs, and issues to the surrounding public. The self-narratives portrayed through these photographs will help policy makers to make informed decisions in crafting initiatives aimed at reducing Black infant and maternal mortality rates. SSIREP is providing support to help provide funds for camera costs, printing, and participant compensation.