The face of black maternal health

Black Maternal Health

The Face of Black Maternal Health in Nebraska

I Be Black Girl works with various partners across Nebraska to address the inequities, trauma and violence within the maternal health sector. Our goal is to Expand Access to Quality & Culturally Relevant Maternal Health Services.  Black women & birthing folks in the United States experience unacceptably poor maternal health outcomes, including disproportionately high rates of death related to pregnancy or childbirth.

More likely to be uninsured

Face greater financial barriers to care when we need it

Less likely to access prenatal care

Experiencing higher rates of many preventable diseases and chronic health conditions

When, or if, Black women/folks choose to become pregnant, these health conditions influence both maternal and infant health outcomes.

  • Black women/folks 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/folks when pregnant or giving birth are “other” heart conditions and blood clots, all preventable causes

How Do We Move Forward?

To improve Black women’s maternal health, we need a comprehensive approach that addresses our health across the lifespan; improves access to and the delivery of quality care; and provides greater economic security and advocacy at the policy and system level.

  • Expand access to culturally relevant and trusted providers, community based care and various kinds of birth workers
  • Expand paid family and medical leave
  • Expand access to quality, patient-centered comprehensive reproductive and obstetric health care
  • Expand protections for pregnant workers
  • Address the pay inequity for Black women and femmes in the workforce
  • Collect and disaggregate maternal health, mortality, and morbidity data by race and gender

We Need Nebraska Policymakers & Medical Professionals to:

  • Expand access to culturally relevant and trusted providers, community based care and various kinds of birth workers
  • Expand paid family and medical leave
  • Expand access to quality, patient-centered comprehensive reproductive and obstetric health care
  • Expand protections for pregnant workers
  • Address the pay inequity for Black women and femmes in the workforce
  • Collect and disaggregate maternal health, mortality, and morbidity data by race and gender
Black women younger than 30 are 2-3X more likely to die from pregnancy related causes than white women. For Black women over 30 years old, this figure increases to 4-5X higher than white women.
The top leading causes of death for Black women/folks when pregnant or giving birth are “other” heart conditions and blood clots, all preventable causes.
use your voice

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.

In 2018, Black women had the second highest rate of preterm birth, with 12.8% of births being preterm. White women had preterm birth rate of 9.8%. 

language definitions

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.

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