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Health Equity

How We're Celebrating Black Maternal Health Week

April 14, 2021
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3 MIN
Black mother with baby
Sydney Jamison headshot
Sydney Jamison, PT, DPT

Sydney is originally from St. Louis, Missouri. She moved west to Kansas to pursue her Bachelors in Exercise Science from the University of Kansas and her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from the University of Kansas Medical Center. During her second year of PT school a guest lecture sparked her interest in Women's Health and Pelvic Floor Therapy. She quickly developed a passion for the population as she continued her studies and training. She moved to Los Angeles shortly after graduating to work in an outpatient clinic where she focused on increasing her experience with Women's and Pelvic Health. Sydney found Origin through a colleague and realized it would be a perfect fit as her passions aligned with Origin's mission and values. She loves working with pregnant women, postpartum women, and women with pelvic pain. Her goal is to ensure all women understand their bodies and are empowered to take control of their health at every stage in their lives.

This week marks the fourth year of Black Maternal Health Week. Four years later, the stats are still staggering – Black women are three times more likely to experience a pregnancy related death than a white woman. Yes, you read that correctly. Research conducted by the CDC in 2019 concluded that sixty percent of all pregnancy-related deaths can be prevented with better health care, communication and support, as well as access to stable housing and transportation. 

This gap in access and information for Black women relates directly to my work at Origin and to pelvic floor physical therapy. While there’s work to be done broadly around women’s lack of education about their pelvic floor – 71% of women are unaware that vaginal delivery increases a woman's future risk of pelvic floor disorder – Black women are three times more likely to lack knowledge about childbirth’s potential impact on their pelvic floor, incontinence, and prolapse. Unfortunately, studies show that nearly 50% of women receive no information about pelvic floor muscle exercises or incontinence postpartum and over 40% of postpartum women have never heard of pelvic floor muscle exercises.

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Black women are also disproportionately predisposed to some unique complications (from gestational diabetes, to preeclampsia, to peripartum cardiomyopathy and more) during pregnancy. Part of these issues can be linked to the fact that Black women are more likely to be under or uninsured, and therefore have a greater financial barrier to getting the care they need during pregnancy. 

We’re firm believers that information is power, so I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to participate in national Black Maternal Health Week and the Black Mamas Matter Alliance (BMMA) in their efforts to give every woman access to quality and holistic health care. Join me on Zoom this Thursday, April 15th at 11am PT for a workshop with The Children’s Collective Inc. and Black Infant Health Program for Pelvic Floor 101: A workshop on pelvic floor wellness during the prenatal and postpartum period.

Event link here

  • Meeting ID: 879 4893 3901
  • Passcode: TCCIBIH

P.S. - If you’re working with an organization that supports Black maternal health, we want to hear from you! We are expanding our pro bono and impact work in California and beyond. Reach out at hello@theoriginway.com.

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