Improving Birth Outcomes

A mother holding a baby and smiling.

We work to improve birth outcomes by supporting pregnant people and their families. We also work closely with communities, coalitions, agencies, and policy makers to reduce birth outcome disparities

Understanding the root causes of birth outcomes

Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) families see poorer birth outcomes than their white counterparts in Dane County. These disparities are rooted in systems of oppression. 

Local disparities in birth outcomes are rooted in systems of oppression and discrimination, like racism, classism, and colonialism. These systems of oppression show up in many ways for Black, Indigenous, and Hispanic/Latine pregnant people – as food insecurity, unstable housing, less access to health care, language barriers, economic injustice, and chronic, toxic stress. These factors together contribute to poorer birth outcomes for BIPOC families in Dane County.

Learn more in our data reports

How we’re working to improve birth outcomes

Supporting pregnant people and their families

Working with partners to reduce birth outcome disparities

  • We coordinate the Dane County Fetal and Infant Mortality Review (FIMR), which works to find ways to prevent fetal and infant deaths. FIMR prioritizes Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) mortality cases. 
  • With funding from the Wisconsin Partnership Program, we partner with Roots4Change to promote health and wellness for Latine families and birthing people through development of culturally appropriate educational and perinatal services.
  • As a member of the Dane County Health Council, we support the Foundation for Black Women’s Wellness Saving Our Babies initiative to expand the pool and presence of African American doulas and community health workers. 

About terminology

We often use the terms “woman,” “women,” “maternal”, and female gendered pronouns “she” and “her” when discussing the perinatal population, pregnant people, and people who give birth. 

We are limited with word choice when it involves programs like the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) and Maternal Child Health (MCH). It is important to recognize that these populations include people who identify as women, and also do not identify as women, including some gender-diverse people and some transgender men. We acknowledge the existence and validity of all people along the sex, sexuality, and gender spectrums.

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