In recognition of Black Maternal Health Week, Ascension Saint Thomas Hospital Midtown was honored to host the ladies of Homeland Heart Birth & Wellness Collective, a Nashville-based non-profit collective of African American doulas. Homeland Heart and Ascension Saint Thomas share a mission of reducing healthcare disparities and improving birth outcomes for moms and families of color.
In January 2020, Ascension Saint Thomas Hospital Midtown was excited to become the first hospital in the state to offer OR credentialing for doulas that would allow these highly personalized birthing coaches to accompany women in labor to the operating room. Due to the pandemic, simulations were cancelled last spring. This week's session with Homeland Heart was a highly meaningful way to relaunch the popular program. The credentialing process requires doulas to complete a 90-minute OR simulation in order to provide OR support during caesarean sections and multiple births.
Soberingly, the American Journal of Managed Care notes: "American women die in childbirth at a higher rate than in any other developed country [and] non-Hispanic Black women are more than 3 times more likely to have a maternal death than white women in the United States." Black Maternal Health Week exists to raise awareness of and tackle this disturbing disparity so that moms and families of color can look forward to healthier, happier futures.