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Elizabeth Warren has a plan for the staggering black maternal mortality rates

"Black women are 3 to 4 times more likely than white women to die from pregnancy or childbirth-related causes. A major reason? Racism. We need to hold health systems accountable for protecting black moms," says Warren.

Elizabeth Warren has a plan for the staggering black maternal mortality rates

[Editor's note: Motherly is committed to covering all relevant presidential candidate plans as we approach the 2020 election. We are making efforts to get information from all candidates. Motherly does not endorse any political party or candidate. We stand with and for mothers and advocate for solutions that will reduce maternal stress and benefit women, families and the country.]

I am currently 39 1/2 weeks pregnant. And I'm terrified. Not because of the pending labor pains of childbirth (although that is a very real fear at times) but because I am a Black woman and I'm three to four times more likely than white women to die from pregnancy or childbirth-related causes.

Earlier this week Sen. Elizabeth Warren wrote an op-ed for Essence highlighting her plan to resolve maternal mortality rates among Black women in the United States. For Black moms, particularly those living in rural areas, it's an epidemic.

Warren, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for president in 2020, says, "The vast majority of maternal deaths are preventable, but decades of racism and discrimination mean that, too often, doctors and nurses don't hear Black women's health issues the same way they hear them from other women."


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducted research between 2011 and 2014 discovered "considerable racial disparities in pregnancy-related mortality exist, with 12.4 deaths per 100,000 live births for white women compared to 40 deaths per 100,000 live births for Black women."

Personally, I didn't experience any complications with my first child and I never felt racism was a factor during my stay at a New York hospital almost three years ago, but that hasn't been the case for other Black women. In fact, some of my friends have experienced these issues during labor and delivery. One friend in particular felt belittled and undervalued by the nurses on staff.

"These are structural problems that require structural solutions, and as they have so often in the past, Black women and activists are leading the way," Warren writes.

Her plan is simple: Hold health systems accountable for protecting Black mothers. If health systems are able to reduce maternal death rates for Black women (and increase survival rates) then they will earn a bonus. If they are unable to decrease the rates, "money will be taken away from them," says Warren.

Women of all races deserve proper childbirth-related care and shouldn't have to pay extra money to ensure their needs will be met. I'm thankful Warren (along with senators Cory Booker and Kamala Harris) is on the front line demanding better outcomes.

It's time we take care of our Black mothers and children.

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Like the Puj hug hooded baby towel, aka the handiest, softest cotton towel ever created.

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It sounds simple: Wash your child, sing them a song or two, let them play with some toys, then take them out, place a towel around them, and dry them off. Should be easy, peasy, lemon squeezy, right?

But it hasn't been. It's been more—as one of my favorite memes says—difficult, difficult, lemon difficult. Because until this towel hit the bathtime scene, there was no easy-peasy way to pick up your squirming wet baby without drenching yourself and/or everything around you.

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There is rightfully a lot of emphasis on preparing for the arrival of a new baby. The clothes! The nursery furniture! The gear! But, the thing about a baby registry is, well, your kids will keep on growing. Before you know it, they'll have new needs—and you'll probably have to foot the bill for the products yourself.

Thankfully, you don't have to break the bank when shopping for toddler products. Here are our favorite high-quality, budget-friendly finds to help with everything from meal time to bath time for the toddler set.

Comforts Fruit Crisps Variety Pack

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If there is one thing to know about toddlers, it is this: They love snacks. Keeping a variety on hand is easy when the pack already comes that way! Plus, we sure do appreciate that freeze-dried fruit is a healthier alternative to fruit snacks.

Comforts Electrolyte Drink

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Between running (or toddling!) around all day and potentially developing a pickier palate, many toddlers can use a bit of extra help with replenishing their electrolytes—especially after they've experienced a tummy bug. We suggest keeping an electrolyte drink on hand.

Comforts Training Pants

Comforts training pants

When the time comes to start potty training, it sure helps to have some training pants on hand. If they didn't make it to the potty in time, these can help them learn their body's cues.

Comforts Nite Pants

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Even when your toddler gets the hang of using the toilet during the day, nighttime training typically takes several months longer than day-time training. In the meantime, nite pants will still help them feel like the growing, big kid they are.

Comforts Baby Lotion

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Running, jumping, playing in sand, splashing in water—the daily life of a toddler can definitely irritate their skin! Help put a protective barrier between their delicate skin and the things they come into contact with every day with nourishing lotion.

Another great tip? Shopping the Comforts line on Comfortsforbaby.com to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices—and follow along on social media to see product releases and news at @comfortsforbaby.

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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