Joyful beautiful pregnant african american woman holding baby booties

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Black Maternal Health Week (BMHW) is here. Every year, April 11-17, the Black Mamas Matter Alliance (BMMA) spearheads a week of activism, education, and community building in an effort to raise awareness around disparities in the pre-, pro-, and postnatal experience for Black women.

According to the Center for Disease Control, 80% of all pregnancy-related deaths are preventable, but Black women are three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than White women. Factors such as variation in quality healthcare, underlying chronic conditions, structural racism, and implicit bias contribute to these disparities.

BMMA founded BMHW in partnership with National Minority Health Month and International Day for Maternal Health and Rights. With a combined mission to strengthen, organize, advocate and invoke justice for Black women and their communities, these institutions are at work all year round. To propel their efforts further, we’ve composed a list of organizations dedicated to improving the Black maternal experience.

Irth App: A disrespectful prenatal appointment in one of New York City’s best hospitals led Kimberly Seales Allen to create Irth. Irth is an app committed to removing any bias from the birthing experience. Hence, why they dropped the “B” in birth! The platform allows BIPOC families to review the prenatal, birthing, postpartum, and pediatric care they receive with a goal to help warn other families about providers with implicit bias. Irth is the no. 1 “Yelp-like” platform for the pregnancy and new motherhood journey, made for and by people of color.

Mamatoto Village: Mamatoto Village is a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit providing comprehensive support to expecting families. They offer birth planning, intimacy counseling, and wellness coaching. Their other popular initiatives include Mothers Rising, a home visitation program for pregnancy and postpartum, ‘The Milk Bar’ a lactation support group, and ‘Mama’s Mingle’ a support group for pregnant and postpartum mothers to discuss various topics regarding pregnancy, parenthood, and more.

Love Delivered: Mama Glow founder, Latham Thomas, and Carol’s Daughter founder, Lisa Price partnered to create Love Delivered, an organization increasing access to doulas for pregnant Black women by bridging the financial gap for the service.

Shades of Blue Project: Shades of Blue Project is on a mission to break cultural barriers in maternal mental health. According to a 2022 report, Black and brown moms experience higher rates of maternal mental health issues, including postpartum depression and anxiety, in comparison to national estimates. This Houston-based nonprofit is working to improve maternal mental health for Black and brown pregnant people. Having recently expanded their offering the group now provides social support, career development, and onsite therapy services in New York, California, and Washington.

Sisters in Loss: After experiencing a devastating stillbirth, Erica M. Freeman founded Sisters in Loss. This community assists Black moms with similar stories by providing bereavement support, grief counseling, and doula services for families experiencing pregnancy again after loss. Additionally, Freeman hosts the Sisters in Loss Podcast where she shares stories of grief and pregnancy loss and gives the audience a peek into her journey as a Special Needs Mom.