Black Maternal Health Day

shedding light on unseen mothers

On April 11th, we recognize Black Maternal Health Day. Black women in the United States are three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications than white women. That's a shocking and disturbing statistic, but it's a reality. There are many reasons for this disparity including an implicit bias in the medical system. Black women may not be listened to or taken seriously by their doctors. Another factor is lack of access to quality healthcare. Black communities may have fewer hospitals and clinics, and they may have higher rates of poverty, which can make it difficult to afford care. Mom.com (sister company of Cassandra) is well-versed in these inequities and recently launched Black Maternal Health Matters as a featured section of their site. Let’s see what they have been talking about.


Mom.com celebrates key advocates in today’s black maternal health space. The founder of Black Supermamas, Meagan Henderson, felt isolated after having her first child during the pandemic and wanted to create a space for Black moms to connect and share experiences. Black Supermamas is a platform that offers uplifting content and resources for Black moms, and also tackles serious topics such as raising Black children in America. Jennie Joseph is one of the world’s most respected midwives, a dedicated advocate for maternal health, and one of Time’s Women of the Year in 2022. On April 17, parenting podcast, The Breakdown with Bethany, will be interviewing Jennie who is also the founder and executive director of Commonsense Childbirth Inc.


One factor contributing to the disparity among Black maternal health is the mass incarceration of Black mothers. Sa'iyda Shabazz in her exclusive Mom.com piece “Invisible Mothers: Black Incarcerated Moms in the Shadows of Black Maternal Health,” explores how the War on Drugs disproportionately impacted Black communities, leading to the incarceration of many Black mothers, often for nonviolent offenses. These mothers are then separated from their children and families, and often lack access to adequate prenatal care. Shabazz also highlights real birth stories in a Cafemom.com piece called “Black Maternal Health Matters: Black Moms Share Their Raw & Honest Birth Stories.”


Black mothers in the deep south face similar challenges. Fear and frustration surface for Black mothers in the south when interacting with the healthcare system. Mothers feel unheard and lack the medical choices afforded to other ethnic groups. And to add to the fear in 2022, the US Supreme Court issued its decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, allowing state legislatures to outlaw abortion, and many states in the South have passed either full or partial bans. Limiting access to reproductive rights could further jeopardize Black women and babies.