Mama Sana: A Home For Mothers of Color
Here at Venus we are getting more and more excited for our official launch party coming up this Friday (3/3) and we wanted to share with our readers why our event’s proceeds will be going to Mama Sana and what they are all about.
As stated on their website, “Mama Sana Vibrant Woman is a community organization that works to facilitate access to culturally appropriate and quality, prenatal and postnatal care for women of color in Austin/Travis County.” I recently had the pleasure of hearing Paula Rojas of Mama Sana speak on just why the organization has this mission.
Paula first shares how health disparities impact Austin/Travis County- meaning how there are different health outcomes for different communities, even if they’re experiencing the same type of need for treatment, such as pregnancy. Paula stated that “In Austin Travis County, 80.9% of white mothers receive prenatal care in their first trimester, compared with black or African American mothers, 59% of pregnant mothers receive prenatal care in their first trimester, and for latino and hispanic women, 46.7%. So there’s about half of black and latina pregnant mothers who don't get access to care in that first trimester and sometimes even into that second trimester.”
So why is there such a large difference in care? What’s causing these disparities? Paula discussed how having access to things that improve health isn’t just about socioeconomics and money. Women of color who are well educated and economically successful still experience worse outcomes than white women with less education. Paula shared that “In the life that you live, some people are under a whole lot of stress and some people are under less stress. And stress has to do with who you are and where you live and how people treat you. When it’s hard to be able to take care of yourself and you have to hustle, it’s more stress. And sometimes just having money doesn't mean that people are always going to treat you respectfully. Sometimes things like racism are real even if you have money.”
"When it’s hard to be able to take care of yourself and you have to hustle, it’s more stress. And sometimes just having money doesn't mean that people are always going to treat you respectfully."
Pregnant women of color may often experience prejudice or be stereotyped, leading to an increase in stress level. Mama Sana realizes,”that if a healthcare provider looks like you, speaks the same language as you, understands your culture, gets what you normally eat, etc. it’s going to be a better experience. We support people to deal with stress.” Chronic stress has the potential to cause harm not only pregnant mothers, but also the babies. Paula has tried to combat this stress through her experiences with being a midwife and sharing her story.
Thumbnail Photo by Shea Garner