Black Maternal Health Week

April 11-17

Black Maternal Health Week takes place every year from April 11–17. The month of April is recognized in the United States as National Minority Health Month which is a month-long initiative to advance health equity across the country on behalf of all racial and ethnic minorities.

Black women are three times more likely to die from a pregnancy-related cause than White women.

Working Together to Reduce Black Maternal Mortality • cdc.gov

History of Black Maternal Health Week

Timeline

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2018

The Black Mamas Matter Alliance founded and led the first-ever campaign

The national Black Maternal Health Week (BMHW) campaign is a week of awareness, activism, and community building.

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2021

Heather Wilson invited to the White House

Kennedy’s Angel Gowns’ Founder was present on April 13 where Vice President Harris hosted a White House roundtable. Black maternal health was the main topic; Heather Wilson shared her story, stillbirth of Kennedy, and work as a doula.

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2021

The President issued the first-ever presidential proclamation of this kind

The President of the United States of America proclaims April 11 through April 17, 2021, as Black Maternal Health Week.  President Joseph R. Biden Jr. calls upon all Americans to raise awareness of the state of Black maternal health in the United States by understanding the consequences of systemic discrimination, recognizing the scope of this problem and the need for urgent solutions, amplifying the voices and experiences of Black women, families, and communities, and committing to building a world in which Black women do not have to fear for their safety, their wellbeing, their dignity, and their lives before, during, and after pregnancy.

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2021

Biden-Harris administration announces initial actions to address the Black maternal health crisis

April 13, the Administration has taken the following actions to strengthen health equity and address racial disparities in maternal health through: 

  • Increased investment in reducing maternal mortality and morbidity.
  • Approval of the First Medicaid Section 1115 Waiver to Broadly Extend Postpartum Coverage.
  • $12 Million in Additional Funds for Maternal Obstetric Care in Rural Communities.
Black Maternal Health Week 1 - Kennedys Angel Gowns

#blackmaternalhealthweek #BMHW

How to Support

The campaign and activities for Black Maternal Health Week (BMHW) serve to amplify the voices of Black mothers and center the values and traditions of the reproductive and birth justice movements. Activities during BMHW are rooted in human rights, reproductive justice, and birth justice frameworks.

Location

The Black maternal health crisis is happening right here in the United States.

Support

We aim to help advocate and make a difference for Black mothers any way we can.

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Change Policy

Let’s address Black maternal health inequity and improve Black maternal health outcomes.

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Culture

Open conversation on Black maternal health and amplify the voices of Black mothers.

Black Maternal Health Week

Why is it Important?

The Centers for Disease Control approximates 700 women die each year in the United States due to pregnancy or delivery complications. Even more frightful are the racial and ethnic disparities that exist in pregnancy-related deaths. Black women are most disproportionately affected, with a mortality rate of 37.1 deaths per 100,000 live births, compared to 14.7 deaths per 100,000 live births and 11.8 deaths per 100,000 live births for White and Hispanic women, respectively.

Black Maternal Health Week

White House Roundtable

April 13, 2021, changed the outlook for Black maternal health with the roundtable lead by Ambassador Rice and Vice President Kamala Harris. Four Black women shared their experiences that were all coupled with loss. Less than an hour afterward, the President issued the first-ever presidential proclamation calling on all Americans to recognize the importance of addressing the crisis of Black maternal mortality and morbidity in this country.

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