Inequality between Blacks and Whites Starts in the Womb in Brazil

Black women have less prenatal care and are more likely to die during pregnancy or postpartum; mortality in the first year of life is 22% higher among blacks

São Paulo

A black baby is already at greater risk of death than a white child even before birth. Black and brown women account for 65% of maternal deaths, those that occur during pregnancy or within 42 days after delivery. Often, their children go with them.

Although efforts to prevent and care for pregnant women and newborns have been expanded in recent decades, disparities in access to prenatal care between black and white pregnant women remain.

According to preliminary data from the Ministry of Health, in 2019, 81% of white pregnant women had at least seven prenatal consultations. Among black women, the rate is 68.1%.

Up to one year of age, black children will have a 22.5% more chance of dying compared to white children. The infant mortality rate is 13.98 per thousand live births among blacks versus 11.41 among whites.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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