New York working to reduce racial gap in childbirth death rate

In this Aug. 7, 2018 photo, a doctor performs an ultrasound scan on a pregnant woman at a hospital in Chicago. New York state is now taking steps to reduce maternal mortality. (AP Photo/Teresa Crawford)

The state is taking steps cut down on maternal mortality and the racial disparities in the rate of childbirth deaths.

A new state task force, made up of state officials and medical and public health experts, met in Albany for the first time last week.

The group is responsible for studying the factors that lead to women dying in childbirth and recommending ways to address it.

The state will also increase support for a program known as Centering Pregnancy.

It’s designed to improve pregnancy outcomes by pairing prenatal education with social support.

It has been linked to a list of prenatal, perinatal, and post-natal improvements, such as fewer preterm births and babies with low birth weight, fewer diagnoses of gestational diabetes and postnatal depression, and higher breastfeeding rates.

Centering Pregnancy has also been shown to narrow the disparity in preterm birth rates between black women and white women.

Statistics show that black women are three times more likely to die during childbirth than white women in New York.

New York state had one of the worst maternal mortality rates in the nation in 2010.

Since then, the state has made progress in reducing the rate, but it is still in the bottom half of states.

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