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Black Maternal Health Week
Apr 22
2021

Black Maternal Health Week

By Sarah Cullo, LMP Program Coordinator

April is National Minority Health Month. This initiative is to bring awareness to the significant health disparities that affect racial and ethnic minorities in the United States. This year, 2021, was the fourth national Black Maternal Health Week (BMHW), it takes place annually from April 11-17. BMHW’s intent is to bring the shocking disparity of care that black mothers face to public attention. According to the CDC black mothers are 243% more likely to die from childbirth-related causes1. How is it that a country that spends the most money than any other country in the world on healthcare2 is also the only industrialized country to have rising rates of maternal death3

 

Access to quality healthcare for black mothers is an issue, but it is not necessarily an issue related to socioeconomic status. Universally black women’s risk for pregnancy related deaths are prevalent regardless of education status and income. This figure from Every Mother Counts illustrates just a few of the obstacles black mothers face when receiving reproductive care. 

https://everymothercounts.org/our-story/the-issue/

Black Maternal Health Week’s purpose is to bring attention to the blatant public health crisis that black women in America face, but it is also meant to provide a platform for the voices and experiences of black women to be heard. Here are just a few amazing resources lead and researched by black mothers.

 

Local Resources

  • Brown Mamas, Brown Mamas is a Pittsburgh based group founded by Muffy Mendoza. Black Mamas is a group to provide a safe and supportive space black moms to connect. Starting as a small group of women gathering in each other’s homes is now a vibrant and supportive community of almost 6,000. 
  • Healthy Start Center for Urban Breastfeeding 
    • Healthy Start is a community-based program aimed at improving and advocating for improved health outcomes for maternal and child health in Allegheny County. 

Educational Resources 

  • Every Mother Counts 
    • Every Mother Counts’s works to achieve quality, respectful, and equitable maternity care for all by giving grants and working with partners and thought leaders to increase awareness and mobilize communities to take action.4 
    • Check out The Issue page on their website for accessible and beautifully illustrated information about maternal health.
  • Black Mothers Matter Alliance 
    • Black Mamas Matter Alliance is a Black women-led cross-sectoral alliance. We center Black mamas to advocate, drive research, build power, and shift culture for Black maternal health, rights, and justice.5
    • Black Mothers Matter Alliance is the organization responsible for creating Black Maternal Health Week

 

 

Sources

  1. https://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/maternal-mortality/pregnancy-mortality-surveillance-system.htm?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Freproductivehealth%2Fmaternalinfanthealth%2Fpregnancy-mortality-surveillance-system.htm

  2. https://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/issue-briefs/2020/jan/us-health-care-global-perspective-2019

  3. https://everymothercounts.org/our-story/the-issue/

  4. https://everymothercounts.org/our-approach/

  5. https://blackmamasmatter.org/about/


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