Indian Life Newspaper -

By Laura Bargfeld and Natalie Skowlund
Special for Cronkite News 

Q&A: Navajo woman starts nonprofit to improve maternal health


Last updated 6/23/2022 at 3pm

Della Johnson/Cronkite News

Nicolle Gonzales, a Navajo nurse and midwife, is founder of Changing Women Initiative. Currently two to three times as many Indigenous women die while giving birth as white women and Gonzales seeks to change that.

PHOENIX-When Nicolle Gonzales gave birth to her three children in a hospital setting, the care felt routine and mechanical. Having worked as a nurse with the Indian Health Service, Gonzales also noticed the gaps in support and accessibility that left many Native American women with insufficient care during pregnancy and birthing.

Her concerns drove her to become certified as a midwife and, in 2015, to launch the nonprofit Changing Woman Initiative to address maternal health disparities in Indigenous women.

The U.S. faces higher rates of pregnancy related deaths than other developed nations,...

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