Drive in baby shower helps address racial disparities in maternal care

baby shower.PNG
Posted at 10:02 PM, Mar 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-27 09:18:56-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Meharry Medical Group alongside the Metro Public Health Department are working together to help address racial disparities in childbirth and infant mortality.

Today they organized a drive in baby shower for expecting and new moms. Kimberlee Wyche-Etheridge, a physician at Meharry Medical Group, said the hope is that mothers in the community feel supported, encouraged, and cared for.

"It is important for us that all of our babies make it to their first birthday. And that means that for populations or groups that may have increased risk do just a little extra attention there to make sure that the knowledge that they need that they have the resources that are needed that they have," she said.

Wyche-Etheridge said outreach is being prioritized in zip codes with the highest infant mortality rates. During the baby shower experts shared tips on how to have a healthy pregnancy and people who attended received freebies like diapers and wipes.

Wyche-Etheridge said there are many reasons for the racial disparities including with resources, under-resourced communities, and intentional bias in medical care.

"All of these things together have put women at increased risk of death as well as their infants at increased risk of death and we need to change that," she said.

Wyche-Etheridge said there are various resources for mothers in the Nashville area, including the group Nashville Strong Babies.

Nashville Strong Babies helps connect new moms to resources.