Background: The persistence of health disparities in maternal outcomes, such as disproportionately high Black infant mortality rates and Black maternal deaths, underscores the need to think broadly about the underlying causes. Elevating Black birthing people’s experiences, their interpersonal interactions, and understanding the social and structural context is critical to the development of programs and policies to prevent and eliminate the maternal outcome disparities. The absence of Black birthing people in key roles in research and the design phase is a missed opportunity for this group to help design research and develop research topics/questions that are important to them.
Proposed Solution to the Problem: The National Birth Equity Collaborative (NBEC) will establish the Respectful Maternity Care Collaborative (RMCC), a formalized partnership of stakeholders across the United States, dedicated to improving maternal outcomes for Black birthing people through PCOR/CER.
Objectives: The long-term objective of this project is to create a sustainable research infrastructure for RMCC members to conduct research that is responsive to the needs of and centers Black birthing people.
Activities: This project will: (a) create and grow a steering committee comprised of stakeholders who represent Black birthing people, birthing workers, researchers, hospitals, and policy makers; (b) develop and implement a birth equity PCOR/CER training program; (c) establish a virtual space for community building; (d) develop a collaborative patient-centered research agenda that includes a strategic direction and research priorities for patient-centered outcomes research on Black maternal health; and (e) disseminate the RMCC work at the annual Black Mamas Matter Alliance convening.
Projected Outcomes and Outputs: The long-term objective of this project is to create a sustainable research infrastructure for RMCC members to conduct PCOR/CER and other research that is responsive to the needs of Black birthing people.
Patient and Stakeholder Engagement Plan: The patients and stakeholders involved and impacted by this project are Black mothers and patients, clinicians, lactation support, birth equity activists, LGBTQ activists and community members, researchers, community leaders, and nurses. The steering committee will convene monthly to guide the: (a) development of the PCOR/CER training program and materials, (b) creation of the community building portal that will bring together stakeholders to identify potential research partnerships, and (c) process for identifying and prioritizing the birth equity research agenda.
Project Collaborators: The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists will partner with NBEC as a professional organization and clinician network to align existing clinical and health system efforts. The Black Mamas Matter Alliance will partner with NBEC as a Black woman-led advocacy alliance and network to align existing Black woman-led research in maternity care with this project to ensure consistency and alignment with existing efforts related to Black birthing research and advocacy.