Mother Jones

PREGNANT WHILE BLACK

Racism is dangerous for moms and babies. But there’s a surprisingly simple and effective way to minimize the risk.
Tamera Singleton gets a checkup during a Centering session in Greenville, South Carolina.

AT THE END OF a long day in January 2011, Brittney Bruster, 28 years old and eight months pregnant, lay down on her sofa to rest. A few minutes later, she was swept by a wave of nausea, followed by a mighty urge to push. She called 911, but “by the time they got there,” she recalls, “I had had her in my sweatpants.” Bruster, who had given birth to four children, was rushed to a hospital in Greenville, South Carolina, with her premature daughter, Tianna, who weighed just five pounds and four ounces.

Of all the dangers facing newborn babies, the most dire is coming into the world early. Despite rapid

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