Field notes

For African-American minority, pregnancy is risky

The United States is in the grip of a maternal-health crisis and the capital, Washington DC, serves as a microcosm of the problem nationwide.

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Up to four times more African American women die from childbirth-related complications than their white counterparts. Washington DC's poorer, majority African American neighbourhoods are a microcosm of the problem.
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Ms Constance Turner was in the 39th week of her pregnancy and she sensed that something was wrong. Yet, the hospital staff were dismissive and sent her home, saying she was not dilated.

At home, she threw up. Her baby boy turned one last time in her womb and then was still.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 27, 2018, with the headline For African-American minority, pregnancy is risky. Subscribe