Experiences of racial Trauma among perinatal women of color in seeking healthcare services

Tuyet Mai H. Hoang, B. Andi Lee, Wan Jung Hsieh, Kaylee Marie Lukacena, Karen M. Tabb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To describe the experiences of perinatal Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color (BIPOC) women in healthcare interactions. Methods: We conducted eight virtual focus groups with perinatal BIPOC women across the USA from November 2021 to March 2022. A semi-structured interview protocol was used, and focus groups were audio recorded and transcribed verbatim. Our team used reflexive thematic analysis to analyze the qualitative data and describe our findings. Results: Three latent themes emerged related to racial trauma in healthcare interactions: (1) observations and experiences of anti-Black bias, (2) experiences of dismissal of pain and withholding of care, particularly among Black and Latinx patients, and (3) common race-based traumatic experiences across all BIPOC women, including a consistent lack of bodily autonomy and deferral to White people for decision-making. Recommendations from participants included more transparent communication and greater empathic care for all patients, with calls to specifically address anti-Black bias in healthcare treatment. Conclusion: The study's findings suggest that perinatal healthcare needs to reduce mental stress and exposure to racial trauma for perinatal BIPOC women. This study offers a discussion of implications for future training for healthcare providers and implications for addressing systemic racial disparities in perinatal mental health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)60-66
Number of pages7
JournalGeneral Hospital Psychiatry
StatePublished - Sep 1 2023


  • anti-Black bias
  • Healthcare interactions
  • perinatal BIPOC women
  • perinatal mental health
  • racial discrimination
  • racial trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Experiences of racial Trauma among perinatal women of color in seeking healthcare services'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this