The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Black Maternal Mobility in Western Massachusetts: The experience of transportation among Black Pregnant Women

Roberts Team Photos

From left: Favorite Iradukunda (Nursing), Lindiwe Sibeko (Nutrition), Lucinda Canty (Nursing) and Shannon Roberts (Mechanical and Industrial Engineering).

Black women are disproportionately affected by maternal mortality and severe maternal morbidity compared to other women in the United States. There is a gap in knowledge about how transportation influences the experience of care during pregnancy. The purpose of this study is to investigate the transportation needs of pregnant Black women and identify the factors that may contribute to the racial disparities in maternal health outcomes. Relying on a community Based Participatory Research approach, we will use mixed methods – interviews, ride-alongs, and secondary data analysis – to better understand the transportation needs of Black women in Western MA and lay the foundation for future studies. The end goal is to use this information in future grant proposals focused on developing interventions and suggesting solutions to transportation issues as it relates to accessing maternal healthcare facilities for Black pregnant women. This project is a new interdisciplinary collaboration between the College of Engineering, the Elaine Marieb College of Nursing, and the School of Public Health & Health Sciences. We will train one graduate student and one undergraduate student through the proposed research.

A drawing from Lindiwe Sibeko

Image credit: Amazing original artwork by Lindiwe Sibeko