The United States is facing a maternal mortality crisis that has been particularly acute for women of color. Black and indigenous women are two to three times more likely to experience worse maternal health outcomes than white women. Increasingly, structural racism is recognized as a key driver of maternal health inequities. This extends to systems and organizations that provide perinatal care5 and wraparound health and social services for pregnant and postpartum women with low incomes,6 many of whom are at highest risk of poor maternal health outcomes. These services and supports are funded through a patchwork of public and private sources that are often stretched thin, leaving critical gaps that perpetuate maternal health inequities. And the COVID-19 pandemic has put even more strain on these resources and exacerbated those inequities. In this brief, part of a larger series on COVID-19 and maternal health equity, we draw on interviews with maternal care stakeholders and available literature and reports to assess if and how our current data systems provide the information needed to track inequities in maternal health outcomes, as well as what data collection efforts must be prioritized to establish accountability and reduce inequities.
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