Racial disparities in perinatal mental health
Black, Latinx, and Indigenous women in need of perinatal mental health services encounter the intersection of disparities in both obstetric care and mental health care. It is essential that psychiatrists gain an understanding of the historic and remaining structural elements that may affect the quality of care provided to pregnant and pe-ripartum Black, Latinx and Indigenous patients. In this article, we briefly dis-cuss the historic context of structural racism in reproductive care. We then describe the current state of racial disparities in perinatal mental health. This is followed by a description of the structural elements that reinforce the effect of racism in perinatal men-tal health care as well as brief recom-mendations to begin to address these structures. The article begins and ends with illustrative cases describing the toll exacted by racial disparities and the potential remedies.