Episode #1: Closing the Racial Divide in Maternal-Infant Health

Sept. 30, 2022
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“For a long time, we regarded race as a risk factor for adverse outcomes and for disparities that we observe in outcomes like infant mortality and maternal mortality. We have begun to recognize that it is racism, not race, that drives health inequities and leads to adverse outcomes.” 

-- Elizabeth Armstrong, Associate Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs, Princeton University

The inaugural episode of The Princeton Pulse Podcast addresses maternal and infant health disparities, a serious and often overlooked public health crisis. The facts are startling. In the United States, Black mothers are three to four times more likely to die of pregnancy-related complications than white women, and Black babies are twice as likely as white babies to die before their first birthdays. Those statistics have captured the attention of both researchers and policymakers, especially in New Jersey, where the gaps are even more stark. What is causing such dire outcomes? How can we close the racial divide?

New Jersey's First Lady Tammy Murphy discusses how the Garden State is tackling the issue head-on through policy and Nurture New Jersey, a collaborative endeavor aimed at making New Jersey the safest, most equitable place in the nation to deliver and raise a baby. She is joined by Princeton Professor Elizabeth Armstrong, who explores how racism drives these inequities and leads to adverse outcomes.

The Princeton Pulse Podcast is a production of Princeton University's Center for Health and Wellbeing (CHW). The show is hosted by Heather Howard, a professor at Princeton University and former New Jersey Commissioner of Health and Senior Services, and produced by Aimee Bronfeld, with support from Eden Teshome, Dan Quiyu, and Casey West. You can subscribe to The Princeton Pulse Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you enjoy your favorite podcasts.

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