Oklahoma women have worse maternal health outcomes and worse access to maternity care than women nationwide. And Black Oklahoma women are more likely to die from pregnancy-related conditions than white women. Most pregnancy-related deaths are preventable, suggesting that improving access to and the quality of maternity care could reduce maternal mortality. Evidence shows that women with healthy pregnancies who receive care from midwives have better outcomes at a lower cost than women who receive traditional maternity care. Establishing a midwifery educational program in Oklahoma focused on training and supporting Black midwives presents an opportunity to expand access to the midwifery model of care, which could lead to reductions in racial disparities in maternal and infant health. This report examines the maternity care landscape in Oklahoma and presents considerations for promoting the midwifery model of care and developing a pathway to education and practice for Black midwives.
Findings and Recommendations from an Expedited Review