Black Maternal Health Week

Black Maternal Health Week

April 11-17, 2021 is the 4th annual national Black Maternal Health Week, created and led by the Black Mamas Matter Alliance. This is a week of awareness, activism, and community building intended 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.

Black Maternal Health Week takes place every year from April 11 –17. The month of April is recognized in the United States as National Minority Health Month – a month-long initiative to advance health equity across the country on behalf of all racial and ethnic minorities.

The campaign and activities for Black Maternal Health Week serve to amplify the voices of Black mamas and center the values and traditions of the reproductive and birth justice movements. Activities during BMHW are rooted in human rights, reproductive justice, and birth justice frameworks.

As a department, we’ve been privileged to host talks by national experts on health equity and Black maternal health, and have many folks within our department researching in this area. Take a look at some Grand Rounds presentations, articles, and interviews from the UW Department of Ob-Gyn.

Grand Rounds: Combating Racial Inequities in Infant Mortality: A Personal and Professional Journey (Dr. Jasmine Zapata)

McMaster University Centre for Health Economics and Policy Analysis 2020 Labelle Lecture: Saving Black Women and Babies: Leveraging Data and Community Engagement to Achieve Health Equity (Dr. Tiffany Green) 

Grand Rounds: Addressing Microaggressions in Health Care (UW Health Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Department)

Women’s Health & Health Equity Research Symposium Keynote 2020: Ministration without Representation: The Essential Roles of Inclusion and Voice in Creating Health Equity (Dr. Erica Marsh)

Women’s Health & Health Equity Research Symposium Keynote 2019: Saving Black Mothers and Babies: What do the Data Tell Us? (Dr. Tiffany Green)

Grand Rounds: The Face of My Ob-Gyn: Why Diversity Matters (Dr. Han Cun)

Grand Rounds: Reproductive Justice, Locally Applied (Dr. David Turok)

Women’s Health & Health Equity Research Symposium Keynote 2017: Challenges in Achieving Equity in Health Outcomes (Dr. Haywood Brown)

Rethinking Bias to Achieve Maternal Health Equity: Changing Organizations, Not Just Individuals (Obstetrics & Gynecology, May 2021) – Dr. Tiffany Green, Dr. Heidi Brown, Dr. Jasmine Zapata, Nao Hagiwara 

Wisconsin Medical Journal Special Issue: The Impact of Race and Racism on Health

Statement from Holmes-Drammeh in support of Perinatal Workforce Act, as part of Black Maternal Health Momnibus legislation

What will the US election mean for Black-white disparities in maternal and child health? (Medical News Today, October 2020) – Dr. Tiffany Green reviews policy platforms around the Affordable Care Act, hospital-level reforms, family planning care, and racial bias in health care.

A Case Study on A University-Community Partnership to Eliminate Racial Disparities in Infant Mortality: Effective Strategies and Lessons Learned (Social Work in Public Health, October 2019 – Dr. Deborah Ehrenthal)

Saving Our Babies: Low Birthweight Engagement Final Report - Foundation for Black Women's Wellness

Proposed Legislation Aims To Address Racial Disparities In Maternal Health Care (Wisconsin Public Radio, February 2021) – Dr. Tiffany Green discusses about Wisconsin’s maternal mortality and preterm birth inequities, and federal Black Maternal Health Momnibus legislation.

U.S. Lawmakers Propose Expansive ‘Momnibus Act’ (WORT Community Radio, February 2021) – Dr. Tiffany Green offers additional perspective on the Perinatal Workforce Act, including crucial points about workforce retention, how maternal health care deserts can affect health outcomes, and ways civil rights laws could be leveraged to protect Black patients from discrimination.

Postpartum depression in women of color: ‘More work needs to be done’ (Medical News Today, July 2020) – Dr. Tiffany Green discusses factors that lead to increased rates of postpartum depression for women of color, and coverage gaps that may affect access to behavioral health care for some women.