Midwives of Color
The profession of midwifery has historically been committed to caring and advocating for vulnerable populations in our country, and has substantially contributed to improving maternal/child health outcomes in the setting of ever-widening racial health disparities. Alongside this proud tradition is also a long, shameful history in the U.S. of significant legal, institutional, and socioeconomic barriers to people of color accessing higher education. As a result, American midwives have been a predominantly racially-homogenous group, ensuring that the majority of midwife-patient relationships are race-discordant, as evidenced in part by a more than 90% racially-white composition of ACNM members, the national organization of certified midwives. This lack of racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity in the midwifery workforce is the challenge of our generation, and must be addressed as a matter of professional integrity and quality care delivery in the communities we serve.