Black pregnant woman holding stomach

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.

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The Healthy Start Technical Assistance Services Center (TASC) is a proud sponsor of the sixth 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. 

This week, join NICHQ in honoring BMMA’s vision by using their social media toolkit and resources to deepen the national conversation about Black maternal health.

Listen to NICHQ's Black Maternal Health Virtual Roundtable

NICHQ is excited to launch Before Birth & Beyond, a new equity-focused NICHQ podcast dedicated to discussing topics related to improving maternal and child health. 

Our podcast is a series of episodes focused on pressing issues in maternal and child health through the lens of shared learning, action, and impact. NICHQ’s network of experts and innovative project work at the intersection of quality improvement and health equity will equip public health professionals and providers alike with new tools, resources, and connections to improve their public health practices.  

Sign up to be notified about the release of our first episode, which includes a Black Maternal Health Week Virtual Roundtable featuring special NICHQ guests:

  • Stacy Scott, PhD, MPA, VP, Health Equity and Innovation
  • Stacey Penny, Senior Project Director, National Network of Perinatal Quality Collaboratives
  • Zsakeba Henderson, MD, FACOG, Senior Health Advisor

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. 

Black woman doctor with gray kinky curly hair wearing lab coat and glasses, smiles next to pregnant dark-skinned Black woman with black long curly hair wearing gray shirt

Resources to Support Black Mothers and Babies

INSIGHT | Applying an Equity Lens to Safe Sleep and Breastfeeding Efforts

NICHQ led the National Action Partnership to Promote Safe Sleep Improvement and Innovation Network (NAPPSS-IIN), an initiative dedicated to making infant safe sleep and breastfeeding the national norm, from 2017-2022. NICHQ spoke with NAPPSS-IIN faculty experts who shared their recommendations for how health professionals and improvement initiatives can better support the health and well-being of Black families, and reduce disparities in infant and maternal mortality rates.


Case Studies | Efforts to Address Preterm Birth Rates

Black babies are at much higher risk of being born preterm or low birth weight due to their mothers increased exposure to toxic stress from institutionalized racism. Targeted interventions and policy efforts, outlined in this case study, can play a significant role in reducing preterm birth rates. 


Black mom watching Black baby sleep in basinet while laying in her bed

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.  

NICHQ Projects Dedicated to Supporting Black Mothers, Birthing People, and Families

Black mother holding up baby and kissing them on the cheek
Learn more about NICHQ's current initiatives

Supporting Healthy Start Performance Project 

NICHQ, in partnership with the National Healthy Start Association, provides comprehensive capacity-building assistance for 101 Healthy Start programs nationwide on high-priority topics that impact Black mothers and families, such as safe sleep, fatherhood, and breastfeeding. 


New York State Birth Equity Improvement Project

NICHQ supports the New York State Department of Health’s (NYSDOH) New York State Perinatal Quality Collaborative (NYSPQC) in their empowerment of birthing facilities to identify how individual and systemic racism impacts birth outcomes at their organizations and take action to improve both the experience of care and perinatal outcomes for Black birthing people in the communities they serve.  


National Network of Perinatal Quality Collaboratives

NICHQ serves as the coordinating center and provides expertise to state-based perinatal quality collaboratives with the goal of deepening and accelerating improvement efforts for maternal and infant health outcomes, particularly within populations disproportionately affected by adverse perinatal outcomes.