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Black women are facing a decline in well-being because health providers do not understand how pregnancy impacts them differently than other race in the United States. This population is dying at a rate 3-4 more times than white, Asian, and Hispanic women. These deaths are preventable as many stem from racism and bias in medicine (Markin & Coleman, 2023). Historically, occupational therapists have not been included in the care of pregnant women due to the exclusive team of obstetric providers, doulas, and midwives (Rost et al., 2023). Because the United States primarily utilizes the medical model for perinatal healthcare, pregnant women traditionally do not seek occupational therapy for wellness services. In relation to pregnant women, occupational therapists are sought to provide services for physical issues and educational deficits (Fernandes, 2018). This project utilized a Pre-Development Phase, Development Phase, Peer Review/Revision Phase, and a Dissemination Phase. The result was a 9 chapter wellness guide that contained applicable information under social, environmental, physical, spiritual, financial, intellectual, emotional, and occupational wellness. The last chapter contains administrative resources. This project is significant because it uniquely addresses a specific population that the profession of occupational therapy has failed to regard in women’s health. This project provides a perspective that recognizes how Black women have contrasting aspects of their lifestyle and genetic makeup that impact pregnancy. This project also offers a sense of belonging when Black women see they are represented in healthcare.

Publication Date

Spring 4-10-2024


University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences


Maternal health, Woman's health, Perinatal health

Medical Subject Headings

Mothers, Pregnancy, Occupational therapy, Perinatal health, Women, Obstetric care, Medical racism, Maternal mortality


Obstetrics and Gynecology | Occupational Therapy


Poster presented at the Virtual OTD Capstone Symposium held online at the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences on April 10-17, 2024.

‘Mama May I?’:  A Comprehensive Guide to Inform Occupational Therapy Practitioners for the Wellness of Black Pregnant Women