Medical equipment hanging on a wall in an exam room at Mary's Center, a federally qualified health center in Washington, D.C.
Credit: Darrow Montgomery

Washington City Paper wants to hear from parents, families, medical professionals, and doulas as we report on what needs to change to reduce Black infant deaths in D.C. Please consider reaching out to us to share your story and connect with other grieving families. 

Between 2014 and 2020, more than 330 Black infants passed away in D.C. before their first birthday. Many Black parents say they don’t feel heard when they seek good care. They feel that they are not listened to and or respected. If you have a story to tell, we want to hear it. We welcome your voice if you have experienced the loss of an infant, whether you are a grieving parent or family member, birth worker, doula, nurse, or physician.

When an infant dies, there are a number of threads that can be tied back to that loss. Health care systems and other agencies play a role. But when it is all said and done, a family grieves alone. City Paper hopes that with this reporting we can help to lessen that isolation, try to get answers, and share resources among families.

The District also has lost many birthing parents during and after childbirth, and Black women are at the greatest risk. Residents of wards 7 and 8 do not have the same access to pre- and postnatal care as other areas in D.C. Could this impact infant mortality in some way? We want to explore the possible connection there.

What factors contribute to Black infant mortality rates in D.C.? Why do the rates remain elevated in this specific community? When parents experience neonatal death or stillbirths, what kind of support do they need? What questions do they have? What existing programs or systems are in place to help?

If you have a story to tell, we want to hear it. You can begin by filling out this form. You can also share your story with writer Candace Y.A. Montague by emailing or calling (202) 650-6957.