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It’s Black Maternal Health Week! Learn more about disparities and how you can help.

UPDATED: 04/14/2022

During the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s more important than ever to make sure Black women have resources for a healthy pregnancy. This year marks the 5th anniversary of Black Maternal Health Week, a campaign founded and led by the Black Mamas Matter Alliance (BMMA). 

This year’s theme is “Building for Liberation: Centering Black Mamas, Black Families and Black Systems of Care.” 

Join us in taking time this week to: 

  • Dive into content that allows for deeper conversation around Black maternal health. 
  • Center the voices of Black women and families and supporters. 
  • Learn about Black-led organizations and who they serve. 

Black Mamas Matter. 

BMMA founded Black Maternal Health week in 2018 to deepen the national conversation about Black maternal health. The week has been observed every year since from April 11-17. The White House recognized it last year and again in 2022

The phrase “Black Mamas” represents all those who care for and mother Black families and communities, whether they are cis women, trans, or gender non-conforming.  

Black mamas are taking control and building toward liberation. Whenever intentional change has been fostered, we have been on the frontlines, and now we are focused on our own freedom and right to live and thrive.  

Staggering maternal health disparities. 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says about 700 women die each year in the United States as a result of pregnancy or delivery complications. In 2020, Black women were most disproportionately affected with a mortality rate of 55.3 deaths per 100,000 live births, compared to 19.1 deaths per 100,000 live births, and 18.2 deaths per 100,000 live births for white and Hispanic women.  

The U.S. had an infant mortality rate of 5.6 per 1,000 live births in 2019, with a health disparity among Black babies at a rate of 10.8 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2018. Black women are 3-5 times more likely to have a maternal death than white women in the United States. 

It’s the same here at home. In Pierce County, Black babies under one year of age die at about double the rate of white babies. When compared to other populations in Pierce County and Washington state, Black babies are also born at a low birth weight (less than 5 pounds, 8 ounces) about double the rate of white babies.   

Black mothers are also more likely to suffer from PMADs (Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders) like postpartum depression, in silence, and without clinical help. 

How can you help?

We know disparities in infant mortality come from the stress of implicit and explicit biases. Simply put, the stress of racism is killing Black mothers and their babies. That’s why we work with communities and agencies of churches, pastors, ministers, community groups and public health nurses as part of our Black Infant Health program, which helps families by providing: 

  • Public health nurses for one-on-one home visits.
  • Community health workers to connect women to resources.
  • Health ministers to lend spiritual and emotional support. 

Getting the word out about how this program helps! Questions? Contact

Other local organizations working to help. 

Thankfully we have a lot of local organizations working to making a difference.   

More resources.

We also have more and more resources to turn to. Want to learn more about Black maternal health and how to support Black mamas?

Listen, learn, advocate. 

Join us this week in taking the time to engage in the discussion about Black maternal health. Recognition is the first step toward education, understanding, and ultimately action.  

Help us:

  • Raise awareness and activism to advance Black maternal health rights and justice.
  • Address Black maternal mortality and morbidity.
  • Learn how others are addressing this crisis and how you can help! 

We have much to do. We need everyone to join the effort. Health should not be determined by race, gender, zip code, income, or any other factor.  

Health equity means everyone has the opportunity to reach their full health potential. 

UPDATED: 04/14/2022