Arab Maternal Health in Ohio Study

The Arab Maternal Health in Ohio Study


2023 MAAMA Research Forum: Mobilizing Arab American Maternal Advocacy 

Thursday, Oct 19th, 4:45-7:15 pm at Sylvania Branch Library Monroe St. Community Room A&B

Sign-up form:

Click here to download event poster in English, Arabic, and the event description in Arabic and English to share with your community.

Based at The Computational Epidemiology Lab in the College of Public Health, Ohio State University (OSU) & funded by the OSU Office of Outreach and Engagement, is a community engagement project that aims to: assess the barriers and experiences of Arab Americans accessing maternal and reproductive services in Northwest Ohio (Toledo/Lucas County) and surrounding regions. 

BACKGROUND: Non-U.S. born Arab American pregnant and birthing people experience higher odds for preterm birth, gestational diabetes, poor access to prenatal care, and adverse overall maternal health outcomes than U.S.-born individuals (Abuelezam et al., 2020). Racial identity also plays an important role in these conditions, as Black Arabs are more likely to experience these outcomes than White Arabs (Abuelezam et al., 2021). The Toledo-Lucas Getting to One Coalition has reported that Black infants are more than twice as likely to die than White infants in Toledo, prompting the need to explore this disparity in other minority communities as well. Arab birthing people are also 33% more likely to experience low birth weight than non-Arab Americans in Ohio (Hyder & Barnett, 2021). To our knowledge, no qualitative research has been conducted to assess the maternal and reproductive health barriers and needs of Arab American birthing people, as observed by community health champions. In this study, we will be interviewing community health champions (i.e. organizational employees, community health workers, social workers, etc.) who directly work with mothers of Arab origin in Toledo to assess perceived barriers.

INTERESTED IN PARTICIPATING? We are currently recruiting local community health champions (i.e. people who work with Arab American mothers in maternal and/or reproductive health capacities, such as OB/GYNs, doulas, midwives, nurses, community leaders, etc.) for interviews to learn more about their experiences and challenges, which will be compensated with $50 per 30-45 minute interview on Zoom. If you’re interested, fill out this form:

QUESTIONS/ CONTACT. For any questions, please contact the Project Coordinator, Siwaar Abouhala, at 


HELPFUL RESOURCES. We understand that people may have a wide variety of experiences in relation to maternal, reproductive, or mental health topics, which may trigger strong emotions or other difficult reactions. We have compiled a list of potentially helpful resources that may be of additional support: 

  1. Suicide Prevention Hotline:  or call 988 or 1-800-273-8255.
  2. 988 Hotline Information in Arabic: 
  3. National Alliance on Mental Health & more resources: 
  4. Mental health information in Arabic (Royal College of Psychiatrists): 
  5. The National Maternal Mental Health Hotline: 1-833-TLC-MAMA (1-833-852-6262)