What is Black Maternal Health Week?
Black Maternal Health Week is recognized each year from April 11-17 to bring attention and action to improving Black maternal health. In addition, many organizations supporting black maternal health have activities and forums and birth justice centered around human rights, reproductive justice, and birth justice frameworks.
The Black Mamas Matter Alliance hosted the first BMHW campaign five years ago. Each year has a theme dedicated to increasing awareness and strengthening the cause. This year's theme is Building for Liberation: Centering Black Mamas, Black Families, and Black Systems of Care.
During this week of awareness, the BMMA focuses on community building and activism with their plans to:
“Deepen the national conversation about Black maternal health in the US;
Amplify community-driven policy, research, and care solutions;
Center the voices of Black Mamas, women, families, and stakeholders;
Provide a national platform for Black-led entities and efforts on maternal health, birth, and reproductive justice; and
Enhance community organizing on Black maternal health"
Why is Black Maternal Health Important?
In a country where the maternal mortality rate is astronomical for a developed country, it is evidenced that black women are dying at rates 3-4 times higher than women of other races regardless of education or income level. Additionally, research since the 1990s has shown that racism has hurt the mental and physical health of Black mothers.
How can I contribute to the Black Maternal Health Movement?
You can contribute to the Black Maternal Health Movement in multiple ways. This week, you can join any of the activities going on during BMHW to further educate yourself on topics that promote birth justice, equality in the healthcare realm, and understanding how underlying racism plays a significant role in contributing to the black maternal mortality rate and the mortality rate for black infants.
You can sponsor a doula by contributing to the Black Doula Campaign by The MomBAE Movement, which contributes to increasing the number of black doulas in communities for those who do not have access to maternal care professionals who are culturally sensitive and have the competency to support black mothers and infants during the pregnancy and birthing process.
Know a mother who recently had a baby and could use some support? Enroll her in the BAE Support group, where we discuss various topics such as postpartum depression and birth stories, parenting tips, and lifestyle topics such as financial literacy dedicated to helping a mother ensure she is set up for success
Volunteer to help contribute to the black maternal health movement. Volunteers allow grassroots organizations like The MomBAE Movement Inc to grow awareness of the black maternal health cause. Being a volunteer can be a rewarding experience and a very flexible way to help our cause with the options for in-person events and virtual.
To learn more:
White House Proclamation on Black Maternal Health Week
About The MomBAE Movement