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May 7, 2019 23 min

A black woman in America is three to four times more likely to die than a white woman during pregnancy, childbirth, and in the year after the baby's born, according to the Centers for Disease Control. As more and more black women share their near death experiences while giving birth, including world tennis champion Serena Williams, we see this reality affecting black woman regardless of education or wealth. So what are black women supposed to do with this information as they think about pregnancy? And what’s being done in the medical field to change it? In a deeply personal search for answers, producer Veralyn Williams talks with celebrated author Tressie McMillan Cottom, with black women in her own life and with Doctor Deborah Cohan, a white OB-GYN from the Bay Area who is confronting her own implicit bias. 

We also speak to:

- Helena Grant, Director of Midwifery, Woodhull Hospital

- Leeann Rizk, Associate Director of Community Organizing, Planned Parenthood

Linda Villarosa, New York Times Magazine contributor and Program Director of the journalism program at the City College of New York.

- Wendy Willcox, Chairman, OB-GYN, Woodhull Hospital

WNYC’s health coverage and The Stakes is supported in part by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Jane and Gerald Katcher and the Katcher Family Foundation, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

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