Date of Award


Degree Type

Honors College Thesis

Academic Program

Public Health BS


Community Health Sciences

First Advisor

Traci Hayes, Ph.D.

Advisor Department

Community Health Sciences


Giving birth in America as an African American woman is a daunting and risky undertaking. African American women are three to four times more likely to die from giving birth and two times more likely to experience severe maternal morbidity than their White counterparts (Wang, Glazer, Sofaer, Balbierz, & Howell, 2020). The disparity seen in maternal health and mortality can partially be linked to other chronic health and medical factors; however, there are even disparities seen in those as well. Attention must be brought to the impact of race and socioeconomic status on the likelihood of survival after giving birth, as both have proven to be reasons for discrimination. The woman’s experience in the health care system is strife with discrimination both implicit and explicit, especially for the African American woman, and yields narratives of neglect, miscommunication, and distrust. This study focuses on the roles race and insurance coverage have in the perception of maternal care received by mothers. Virtual, individual interviews were conducted with nine Mississippi mothers ranging in age from 25 to 36. The questions were asked to gauge how the mothers felt their communication, relationship with their team, and overall quality of care were impacted by their race and insurance coverage. It was concluded that African American mothers express race as having an impact on their maternal care, and that insurance is a very important aspect of the maternal care experience.