DiscoverPerinatal Wellbeing - The Podcast about Prenatal, Pregnancy & Postpartum HealthThe Impacts of Racism on Reproductive Health with Rochelle Part 1
The Impacts of Racism on Reproductive Health with Rochelle Part 1

The Impacts of Racism on Reproductive Health with Rochelle Part 1

Update: 2022-10-10


Welcome to Perinatal Wellbeing episode #21, our first episode of season 2! Today we’re going to talk about the Impact of Racism on Reproductive Health with Rochelle Maurice.

Content Warning: This is an in-depth discussion about racism and the impacts on reproductive health and can feel very heavy, especially for those who are impacted by these topics. We discuss things such as forced sterilization, interactions with CAS. Take care of yourself while listening.

Rochelle Maurice, MSW, MHSc in Bioethics is a clinical and organizational ethicist based in Toronto, Ontario. Her work in ethics was strongly influenced by her professional background in social work, the most significant of which was in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and Paediatrics department in a community hospital in Toronto. As a result of her experiences in both social work and ethics, Rochelle has an interest in and passion for addressing issues that affect pregnant, birthing, and postpartum people at the intersection of health and social care. She is currently pursuing doctoral studies in social work that focuses on Black women’s experiences in maternal-child care. 


4:15 - Pinkification of pot does not include black women

5:58 - Obstetrical racism – women of colour not being believed when in pain or something is wrong, symptoms do not align with cultural biases 

9:01 - We don’t collect race-based data in Canada and the impacts of this

13:47 - Typical bodies and the impacts of that

18:15 - Reproductive justice – intersection of systemic inequality and the impacts on decision making about childbearing and parenting

20:57 - Forced Sterilization

28:38 – Lack of access to nutritious food, the right to raise your family in a safe and supportive environment

32:06 - Ideal motherhood and not enough support to achieve this

33:05 – How does racism and scrutiny of mothers intersect with Children’s Aid Society?  

37:38 - How do we repair? 

39:41 – Institutional memory and generational trauma and the impacts on accessing care

47:18 - Seeking support in community and access to care

Resources: You can find Rochelle on Instagram @_rochellemaurice_

 You can find us at on Instagram @perinatalwellbeing_ontario or by email

 If you are experiencing any of the symptoms discussed in this or any episode please reach out to me at and I can help you find support in your area or online. 

Check out Postpartum Support International at for more information about Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders as well as free online support groups and a provider directory. 

You can look for an individual therapist on


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The Impacts of Racism on Reproductive Health with Rochelle Part 1

The Impacts of Racism on Reproductive Health with Rochelle Part 1

Christine Cunningham