Health Policy


Race, Stress, and Social Support: Addressing the Crisis in Black Infant Mortality

To better understand the issues and to inform its deliberation in formulating recommendations for policy, research, and practice, the Infant Mortality Commission asked experts in various fields related to maternal and child health and infant mortality to prepare background papers on specific issues. This background paper examines the impact of stress and stress mediators on pregnancy outcomes for African American women. The report also examines social support and other relational experiences and makes recommendations for related changes in public policy and maternal and child health practices.

This analysis complements and reinforces the recommendations of other Courage to Love: Infant Mortality Commission background and framing papers on infant mortality and resilience; the role of breastfeeding in maternal and infant health; the historical framework of policies and practices to reduce infant mortality; the authentic voices of those affected by infant mortality; and infant mortality in a global context.

Read our report here.