The face of black maternal health
Black women & birthing folks in the United States experience unacceptably poor maternal health outcomes, including disproportionately high rates of death and near death experiences related to pregnancy or childbirth.
- Black women experience “weathering,” meaning our bodies experience physical harm due to exposure to chronic stress linked to socioeconomic inequities, discrimination and racism over the life span, making pregnancy riskier at an earlier age
- Black women are 3-4X more likely to die during or after delivery than are white women
- The top leading causes of death for Black women when pregnant or giving birth are “other” heart conditions and blood clots, all preventable causes
How We Move Forward
Using a Collective Action Framework, I Be Black Girl is catalyzing a movement to disrupt the systems that perpetuate incidence of maternal morbidity, mortality and traumatic care experiences using strategies that center the voices, experiences, and leadership of Black women and Black birthing people.
IBBG works with various partners across Nebraska to address the inequities, trauma and violence within the maternal health sector. Creating transformational system change will require a comprehensive approach that addresses Black maternal health across the life course. This includes the following.
- Expand access to culturally relevant and trusted providers, community-based care and various kinds of birth workers
- Expand access and resources to quality, patient-centered comprehensive reproductive and obstetric health care
- Expand policy including paid family and medical leave, postpartum coverage and bias training for medical practitioners
- Address the pay inequity for Black women and femmes in the workforce
- Collect and disaggregate maternal and reproductive health data by race and gender
Goal: To expand access and resources to quality & culturally relevant maternal health services through policy, research, and organizing while amplifying the voices and experiences of Black women and birthing people.
IBBG has identified four priority areas for 2022-23:
- Data, Research, and Learning
- Community Organizing and Power Building
- Coalition Building and Convenings
- Policy and Advocacy
IBBG works with a number of partners through coalition building and various activities to help advance Black birth justice in Nebraska.
Nebraska Black Maternal Health Coalition
The intent of this coalition is to center Black women and birthing folks in the maternal health ecosystem to help improve outcomes and the experience of Black women and folks with a reproductive system when they decide to get pregnant and parent.
The majority of the coalition (80%) members identify as Black women that hold formal or informal roles in the maternal health and birth justice ecosystems.
- Create greater communication across the ecosystem
- Build stronger stronger partnerships and collaboration across the ecosystem
- Transform and influence the ecosystem
- Reimagine the Face of Black Maternal Health in Nebraska
- Omaha Black Doula Association
- March of Dimes
- Nebraska Medicine
- Nebraska Perinatal Quality Improvement Collaborative
- Charles Drew: Omaha Healthy Start
- Touch of Gold
- UNMC College of Public Health
Severe maternal morbidity (SMM) includes unexpected outcomes of labor and delivery that result in significant short- or long-term consequences to a woman’s health
Maternal health refers to the health of [Black] women or folks with reproductive systems during pregnancy, childbirth and the postnatal period.
Obstetric relates to childbirth and any processes associated with it.
Mortality rate is the number of deaths in a given area or period, or from a particular cause.
Share your story and experience with us in order to achieve quality and culturally relevant maternal health services that center Black women, femmes, girls and folks with uteri.