Here’s What You Need to Know About Black Maternal Health Week

This Black Maternal Health Week, it's time to shine a light on the critical disparities affecting Black mothers in the United States. So what can we do? Find out below.

This Black Maternal Health Week, it’s time to shine a light on the critical disparities affecting Black mothers in the United States. Despite advances in healthcare, Black women continue to face significantly higher risks during pregnancy and childbirth compared to their white counterparts. Here are the stark realities we must confront and the steps we can take to advocate for meaningful change.

Understanding the Disparities

  • Alarming Maternal Mortality Rates: Black women are 3 to 4 times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This disparity exists irrespective of income or education level.
  • Access to Quality Care: Many Black women experience challenges in accessing high-quality prenatal care. Geographic location, lack of insurance, and systemic racism within the healthcare system all contribute to this gap.
  • The Role of Structural Racism: Systemic inequities and structural racism play a significant role in the disparities seen in Black maternal health. These factors influence not just healthcare access, but also the quality of care received.

What Can We Do?

Educate Ourselves and Our Communities

Awareness is the first step toward change. By understanding the issues at hand and spreading knowledge within our circles, we can begin to dismantle the ignorance that perpetuates these disparities.

Support Black-led Organizations

Many organizations are at the forefront of advocating for Black maternal health. Supporting them, whether through donations, volunteering, or amplifying their messages, can make a significant impact. Organizations such as Black Mamas Matter Alliance, National Birth Equity Collaborative, and others are leading the charge in this crucial work.

Advocate for Policy Change

Policy change can lead to substantial improvements in healthcare access and quality for Black mothers. Contact your representatives to support legislation that addresses maternal health disparities, such as the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act, which aims to fill gaps in existing legislation to improve health outcomes for Black mothers.

Organizations like Every Mother Counts, an organization Little Spoon has long collaborated with, offer both incredible ways to get involved and helpful resources/tools for women. 

Promote Inclusive Healthcare Practices

Advocate for and support healthcare practices that are inclusive and culturally competent. This includes supporting the diversification of the healthcare workforce and promoting training on implicit bias and racism for all healthcare providers.

Amplify Black Voices

Listen to and amplify the voices of Black mothers, healthcare professionals, and advocates. Their experiences and insights are invaluable in understanding the changes that need to be made and in guiding our advocacy efforts.

By educating ourselves, supporting the right causes, advocating for policy change, and listening to the voices of those affected, we can all contribute to a world where health disparities no longer dictate the quality of care and outcomes for Black mothers.


Looking for more tips on parenting, nutrition & all the WTF moments of this life stage? Sign up for our weekly Is This Normal by Little Spoon newsletter.