Black Maternal Health Week, held annually April 11-17, is a national week of action that aims to raise awareness around racial inequities around maternal health outcomes in the United States

“April 11 – April 17, we recognize as Black Maternal Health Week, and it is an important reminder of the stark health disparities that disproportionately affect Black women throughout our borough, city, and nation. It is 2023, but many Black-birthing individuals continue to receive inequitable care that contributes to, not only poor health outcomes but in more severe cases can lead to death or life-altering injuries. This is unacceptable and completely avoidable.

As a borough, we are taking action to end this epidemic. We have formed the Bronx Maternal Health Consortium representing all members of the Birthing Community, (doulas, midwives, physicians, and allied healthcare professionals), and birth justice advocates committed to decreasing the high rates of Black maternal mortality and morbidity in the Bronx. Our mission is to eliminate barriers to care for expectant mothers and to ensure they receive respectful and culturally competent patient-centered care before, during, and after childbirth. With recommendations that have emerged from the community, we sent a letter today to Governor Hochul asking for our State partners to advance support for doula care in New York State because the data is clear: When birthing people have access to a doula and midwifery services, it can save lives.

We are also drafting a Bronx Birthing Center report, with input from experts and advocates, that highlights the need for a birthing center in the Bronx. Birthing centers are closing across our city, but we are committed to making a Bronx Birthing Center a reality. Creating this community-based resource will help close the racial disparities in maternal health outcomes affecting Black women in our borough. Birth equity and justice is a pillar of our health agenda, and we are committed to building this alternate model for birthing care.”