Date of Project


Document Type

Honors Thesis

School Name

Donna and Allan Lansing School of Nursing and Health Sciences


Health Professions

Major Advisor

Pam Power


Black women and infants experience higher morbidity and mortality rates compared to white women and infants in the United States. Forces of systemic racism and poverty often lead to inadequate access to prenatal care for Black women, and care received is often compromised by implicit bias or barriers related to insurance coverage, impersonal provider-patient relationships, and poor healthcare literacy. Despite the rich history of Black Granny midwives in the United States, most Black women began using physicians for obstetric care in the 20th and 21st centuries. This integrative review explores how improving access to midwifery care for Black women could result in improved birth outcomes, patient autonomy, trusting patient-provider relationships, and maternal satisfaction with the obstetric experience. It also addresses the barriers that prevent Black women from utilizing midwifery, including the low Black representation among midwives. Removing these barriers and implementing programs that increase midwifery access could help to address health equity issues that exist for Back child-bearing women.