April 25, 2018

Racial Disparity and its Effect on Breastfeeding and Infant Mortality

In this episode of “Yoga | Birth | Babies,” I speak with accomplished author, health psychologist and International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, Dr. Kathleen Kendall-Tackett.  We dive deeply into an important and timely discussion about racial disparity and the effects of breastfeeding and infant mortality.  Black babies are  more then three to four times likely to die then a white baby from pregnancy related causes.  According to a recent NY Times article, black women in NYC are 12 times as likely to die due pregnancy related caused compared to white women.  These staggering numbers are frightening and simply unfair.  With years of research behind her, Dr Kendall-Tackett sheds some light on why these there is such disparity in women and baby health care.

In this episode: 

  • What brought Dr. Kendall-Tackett to this work.
  • Dr. Kendall-Tackett’s work on race/ethnic health disparity.
  • The current racial disparity in terms of infant mortality and women’s health.
  • Contributing factors that create this wide chasm of infant mortality.
  • How trauma plays a role in the health of mother and baby.
  • The impact trauma has on breastfeeding.
  • The relationship between inflammation and preterm labor.
  • Ways to lessen the chance of preterm labor for black women.
  • The relationship between breastfeeding and infant mortality.
  • Why black babies are still twice as likely to die as white babies.
  • From Dr. Kendall-Tackett’s research, why black women have a higher rate of post traumatic stress symptoms following birth than both white and Hispanic women.
  • Why black women experience more traumatic birth.
  • Some of the barriers black women are facing in terms of successful and supportive breastfeeding.
  • Are we seeing change happening and if so, what is helping create this change?
  • Organizations that support breastfeeding in black communities:
  1. Reaching Our Sisters Everywhere (ROSE) 
  2. More Excellent Way Health Improvement Organization (MEW) 
  3. Blacktating 


About Dr. Kendall Tackett:

Dr. Kendall-Tackett is a health psychologist and International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, and the Owner and Editor-in-Chief of Praeclarus Press, a small press specializing in women’s health. Dr. Kendall-Tackett is Editor-in-Chief of two peer-reviewed journals: Clinical Lactation and Psychological Trauma. She is Fellow of the American Psychological Association in Health and Trauma Psychology, Past President of the APA Division of Trauma Psychology, and a member of the APA’s Board for the Advancement of Psychology in the Public Interest.

Dr. Kendall-Tackett specializes in women’s-health research including breastfeeding, depression, trauma, and health psychology, and has won many awards for her work including the 2017 President’s Award for Outstanding Service to the Field of Trauma Psychology from the American Psychological Association’s Division of Trauma Psychology. Dr. Kendall-Tackett has authored more than 420 articles or chapters, and is author or editor of 35 books.

Her most recent books include: Depression in New Mothers, 3rd Edition (2017, Routledge UK), Women’s Mental Health Across the Lifespan (2017, Routledge US, with Lesia Ruglass), The Phantom of the Opera: A Social History of the World’s Most Popular Musical (2018, Praeclarus), Psychology of Trauma 101 (2015, Springer, with Lesia Ruglass) and The Science of Mother-Infant Sleep (2014, Praeclarus, with Wendy Middlemiss). Her websites are UppityScienceChick.comBreastfeedingMadeSimple.comKathleenKendall-Tackett.com, and PraeclarusPress.com.

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