Black Maternal Health Week (BMHW) is April 11 to 17, which aims to:
- Deepen the national conversation about Black maternal health in the US;
- Amplify community-driven policy, research, and care solutions;
- Center the voices of Black Mamas, women, families, and stakeholders;
- Provide a national platform for Black-led entities and efforts on maternal health, birth and reproductive justice; and
- Enhance community organizing on Black maternal health.
Because lactation and breastfeeding play critical roles in maternal health, family health and reproductive justice, we are compelled to support this annual campaign and encourage you to do the same.
The most recent data from the state’s Maternal and Infant Health Assessment (MIHA) survey, which provides a snapshot of hospital births in California from 2016-2018, shows that though we’ve seen improvements in Black breastfeeding rates, there are still significant differences in breastfeeding success between Black and non-Black families. You can see the data yourself on Page 23 of the statewide snapshot.
This year’s BMHW theme is Building for Liberation: Centering Black Mamas, Black Families and Black Systems of Care. We know that the solution to the problem of inequality and disparity lies in the people most affected. Centering Black Mamas, families and systems of care is the missing piece in the puzzle of helping Black families achieve their lactation goals.
Founded and led by the Black Mamas Matter Alliance, Black Maternal Health Week provides the opportunity for all of us to learn and contribute to initiatives placing Black Mamas at the center of these conversations. You can find a complete listing of national events here or by visiting blackmamasmatter.org.
Various organizations throughout California are also hosting events for Black Maternal Health Week, including the Black Wellness and Prosperity Center in Fresno. Together we can elevate the voices of Black Mamas here in California this month to create change that lasts into the future.
If you have events planned for BMHW, please submit them to our events calendar so we can support you in promoting them.