Saving Our Mothers: Native Women Come Together to Confront High Rates of Maternal Mortality

In Arizona, maternal deaths are highest among Native American women with 70.8 deaths per 100,000 births. Hemorrhage and hypertensive disorders are among the biggest contributors to these deaths, according to the CDC. However, many of these deaths are preventable and access to proper health care plays a big factor. Far distance from the nearest hospital means Native women often miss screenings and checkups that could help prevent future complications.


Native women often turn to doulas to help them during their birth experience. While doulas have no formal medical background, they provide support and guidance throughout all stages of the pregnancy.


We were giving the unique opportunity to attend a doula training event held in the Navajo Nation capital of Window Rock. Doula trainings like this one allow Native women to learn how to help each other during their pregnancies, provide a safe space for women to heal and build a support system. 

This is their story.


Below are some of my favorite moments captured, including some previously unpublished images. To see the full story published on Cronkite news, click on the button below.