By Pooja Talati (LA ’23, SSE ’23)

RRRH Intern Pooja Talati

Reproductive Rights and Health Intern Pooja Talati

Approaching the two-year anniversary of my time at the Institute of Women and Ethnic Studies with their Maternal and Child Health team, I’ve been reflecting on the things I’ve learned and how my understanding of healthcare has expanded through this experience. At the beginning of this internship, I was unaware of the different birthing options available to birthing individuals outside of hospital births. I was also unaware of the need for access to these additional birthing options for many people and the lack of support that underserved and under-resourced populations received during the birthing process. I did not realize how limiting barriers to access could be for community members in New Orleans until I began reading the transcripts of women interviewed about their birthing experiences, ranging from breastfeeding support to experiences with infants in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. As I’ve continued my journey into reproductive health, I’ve also learned more about the systems set in place to support birthing individuals outside of hospital care and the ways that these systems need to be improved or expanded. I can certainly say I’ve grown both personally and professionally in this role, and I look forward to bringing my experiences and newfound knowledge with me as I pursue a career as a physician.