Black Maternal Health Week
Join NICHQ in celebrating Black Maternal Health Week, observed April 11-17, as a week of awareness, activism, and community building to lift the voices of and improve the birthing experience for Black people.
The Healthy Start Technical Assistance Services Center (TASC) is a proud sponsor of the fifth annual Black Maternal Health Week Campaign hosted by the Black Mamas Matter Alliance (BMMA), a Black women-led cross-sectoral alliance dedicated to ensuring that Black mamas have the rights, respect, and resources to thrive before, during, and after pregnancy. NICHQ currently serves as the national coordinating center for TASC.
Join NICHQ and HS TASC for the #BMHW22 TweetChat!
NICHQ is excited to participate in the BMMA Black Maternal Health Week TweetChat on Wednesday, April 13, 2022, at 3:30 P.M.
Have questions for NICHQ? Senior Project Manager Stacey Penny, MPH, MSW, will be taking over NICHQ's Twitter to answer questions and share helpful information and resources.
HS TASC will also be joining the chat, sharing information about services, resources for Black mothers and families, and strategies for healthcare professionals, advocates, and other health and community workers.
By listening to Black mothers and birthing people and focusing on anti-racist and equity-based solutions to their challenges, providers and public health professionals can reduce the persistent and unacceptable disparities in maternal health.
Keep Learning with NICHQ Webinars
Clinical care providers, public health professionals, educators, and community advocates can view these past NICHQ webinars to learn how to better support Black mothers, birthing people, and families as they navigate unique challenges in the health care system.
- LENS Care: Leading Equity Now in Systems of Care
- From Awareness to Action: Strategies for Combating Racism in Health Systems
- Social Determinants of Grief: The Impact of Black Infant Loss
- Reducing Preterm Birth: States Share Interventions, Policy Efforts, and Emerging Issues
NICHQ’s #BMHW22 Reading List
The Impact of Institutional Racism on Maternal and Child Health
Embedded within persistent disparities are the ongoing effects of institutional racism—racism that began with the enslavement of Black people, was embedded in our earliest institutions, and has continued to influence policies and practices ever since.
Breastfeeding Takes a Village and, Too Often, Black Women Don’t Have One
Breastfeeding peer support networks run for and by Black women fill a gap in breastfeeding support for Black women—a gap largely created by historic and systemic inequities. Here, Khadija Garrison Adams, co-founder of Black Lactation Circle (BLaC) of Central Ohio, shares how their community is empowering black pregnant and nursing mothers to meet their breastfeeding goals.
Our Systems Meant to Help Are Hurting Black Families
When does mandated reporting hurt rather than improve health outcomes? Erin Cloud, who’s spent the past seven years advocating for parents in the child welfare system, shares a thought provoking story about what happens when biased reporting causes unintentional harm. Here, we shine a spotlight on this troubling example of when systems meant to support children’s health end up failing black mothers and children.
Addressing Black Maternal Mortality Rates Starts with Listening to Black Women
In New York State (NYS), Black women are more than three times as likely to die from pregnancy or giving birth as white women. This disparity has persisted alongside the U.S.’s rising maternal mortality rate, which has doubled in the past 15 years. Recognizing the urgent need for change both within their state and across the nation, NYS launched an initiative to engage women of color in identifying sustainable solutions for improvement.
Four Steps to Address Racism’s Impact on Maternal and Child Health
Racism has been baked into U.S. systems and structures since enslavement, and Black families and other people of color are still suffering its consequences. As health professionals, it’s vital to acknowledge that all forms of racism—institutional, personally mediated and internalized—are real, are present in health systems, and are adversely affecting the health of Black families. One person can’t solve a systemic problem, but there are impactful steps everyone can take to help address it.
Applying an Equity Lens to Safe Sleep and Breastfeeding Efforts
Black families are twice as likely as white families to have their baby die in the first year of life. These statistics are more than numbers; they represent real families who suffer unimaginable loss—loss that stems from the persistent effects of systemic racism on the health of black families. Here, faculty experts on a national safe sleep and breastfeeding initiative share their recommendations for how health professionals and improvement initiatives can better support the health and well-being of black families.
Closing the Breastfeeding Disparity Gap: Methods for Improvement
When compared to all other racial groups, Hispanic mothers are most likely to supplement breastmilk with formula within the first two days of life. One hospital on the Texas-Mexico border, serving a nearly 100 percent Hispanic population, has introduced a variety of interventions aimed at closing the breastfeeding disparity gap, specifically as it relates to exclusive breastfeeding.
Moms Deserve Better Care In The Fourth Trimester
“There is a fourth trimester to pregnancy, and we neglect it at our peril. It is a transitional period of approximately three months after birth, particularly marked after first babies, when many women are emotionally highly vulnerable, when they experience confusion and recurrent despair, and during which anxiety is normal and states of reactive depression commonplace.”
How Do We Address Safe Sleep Disparities? Start by Building Trust
Healthy babies shouldn’t die in their sleep. But, despite decades of trying to reduce the number of sudden unexpected infant deaths (SUID) they still persist. And most often, their persistence affects families of color. In this article, Founder of the Global Infant Safe Sleep Center, Stacy Scott, shares ideas on how we can best address this alarming lack of equity and reduce sleep-related deaths across all populations.
Conversations Can Stop Sleep-Related Infant Deaths
To help reduce sleep-related infant deaths, Founder of the Global Infant Safe Sleep Center, Stacy Scott, PhD, MPA and a team of experts compiled a list of tactics and examples to support infant safe sleep conversations. Each strategy responds to a real-life example from health professionals across the country.