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Maternal mortality has been an ongoing topic of conversation due to the stark reality that Black women have had poorer outcomes in many areas of reproductive health. According to the CDC, prior to the pandemic, Black women were two to four times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes. And in cities such as New York City, this number has risen up to twelve times, as shared by the city’s Department of Health.
Add to this that prior to conception and delivery, Black women are two times more likely to experience infertility when compared to their counterparts. In addition, research shows that they are less likely to access Leonora Addio Film 2022. This extends to disparities that also exist in the postpartum period where Black women are Ambulance Film 2022 to experience postpartum mood disorders, in an environment at present where there is not much awareness about the broader challenges postpartum brings for many new mothers.
To shed light on these disparities during pregnancy and early motherhood, medical student and filmmaker Adeiyewunmi (Ade) Osinubi curated a documentary called Occhiali neri Film where she follows the stories of four mothers. Osinubi shares more on the mothers’ stories and the inspiration behind the film that has been nominated by seven film festivals.
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From a young age, Osinubi has been enthralled with telling stories. “I often took trips to the public library to flip through pages of the Magic Treehouse series and as I got older, my love for stories manifested in an interest in film, women’s health, and advocacy,” she shares. After learning about obstetric fistula–a birth injury that disproportionately impacts women in low resource settings due to a lack of skilled obstetrical care–she was motivated to address this inequity. This led to her traveling at the age of sixteen to Mekelle, Ethiopia, with a suitcase full of film equipment, to create two documentaries raising awareness on the condition. It was then she realized the intimate connection between stories and medicine to inspire health advocacy.
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In 2018, when she became a medical student at Brown University she noticed the vast media attention surrounding the Black maternal mortality crisis. This issue touched her deeply and inspired her to cover it in a unique way. “While Black maternal mortality was getting crucial media attention, health disparities impacting Black women in other areas of reproductive health, such as infertility and postpartum mood disorders, were not,” Osinubi shares. She elaborates by detailing: “I decided to independently film and produce ‘Black Motherhood Through The Lens’ to showcase the multitude of health inequities Black women face from conception to the postpartum period.” The documentary captures the narratives of four women—Ijeoma Kola, Shannon Benjamin, Shaylene Costa, and Jai-Me Potter Rutledge.