Every woman deserves to give birth
and live to tell it with a healthy baby in her arms.

Advocacy Action for October Observance of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month

Wave of Light Action Guide 2022

VICPP and the PUSH maternal health campaign invite you to observe October as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month by holding a prayer vigil in support of the International Wave of Light, observed annually on October 15. Click the link above to download a one-page quick guide to participate in the Wave of Light and how to take part in this advocacy action!

Black women in Virginia dying roughly two and a half times more than their counterparts. Eliminating these disparities necessitates addressing cultural competency and implicit bias in health care settings. Here are a few key biases that negatively impact health care delivery:

  • Adultification: When compared to white girls starting at age 5, Black girls are seen to need less protection, need less nurturing, need less support, need less comfort, and are more independent. These perceptions contribute to stereotyping and dismissal of Black adult patients experiencing pain and symptoms at a clinical setting.
  • Superhumanization: Whites associate magical powers (i.e. ghost, spirit, paranormal) with Black people and therefore do not think that they experience pain.
  • Scarcity:  The perception of the scarcity of resources (real or manipulated) leads to increased discrimination, as evidenced by data showing that faces of mixed-race individuals were seen as Black significant enough to affect the distribution of resources to them. These disparities of allocation widen during economic stress. The data illustrates the socioeconomic context of disparities as relates to clinical treatment.

Implicit Bias

The Virginia Maternal Mortality Review Team analyzed all cases of pregnancy associated deaths in Virginia and reported the following provider-related factors that contributed to maternal mortality:

  • delay in or lack of diagnosis
  • delay in or lack of treatment
  • delay in or lack of follow-up
  • failure to refer
  • failure to seek consultation