Black Maternal Health Week (BMHW), founded by Black Mamas Matter Alliance, is a week of awareness, activism, and community-building aimed at amplifying the voices of Black Mamas. BMHW is celebrated annually in April during National Minority Health Month.
Deaths from complications due to pregnancy have steadily increased since 2018. Looking at pregnancy data reveals considerable racial disparities. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1,205 women died of maternal causes in the United States in 2021. Black women are three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white and Hispanic women. Multiple factors contribute to these disparities, such as lower quality healthcare, structural racism, implicit bias from healthcare providers and underlying chronic conditions.
It’s important to note that the majority of pregnancy-related deaths are preventable. Learn more about helping pregnant people have healthy, thriving pregnancies:
- Black Mothers’ Breastfeeding Association
- Hear Her Campaign
- Oakland Community Health Network (OCHN) Access Services
- Oakland County Health Division
- Urgent Maternal Warning Signs
The Oakland County Health Division is committed to supporting mothers before, during and after pregnancy by offering quality services, including Nurse Family Partnership, Nurturing Parenting Program, Public Health Nurse Home Visits, Nutrition Services, Women Infants and Children (WIC), infant safe sleep education and much more! Read the following testimonies from Black mothers about how these programs helped them thrive as a new parent!
Aneicia – Nurse-Family Partnership client
The Nurse-Family Partnership program is a very good program. I was a new soon to be mom when I started the program and didn’t know a lot about babies, but my nurse Sue, is excellent and taught me a lot. I learned what to do and not do when it comes to parenting. I want to let others know that they can rely on the program and be confident in their nurse. I love it!
Based on my experience as a parent, it’s important to stay strong and not be afraid to ask for help. Reach out to a friend or family member if you are feeling sad or depressed for help.
Angela – Home-visiting nursing client
As part of a home-visiting nursing program, I like the fact that if I don’t understand something my pediatrician told me, my nurse, Julie will explain it to me in a way I understand.
Being a first-time mom, it’s very helpful having a nurse come to your house. Julie shared parenting experiences with me and helped me with resources. She dropped off formula for us during the formula shortage and gave my son a new cup and plate to start him off eating.
My advice to other black mothers and caregivers is to always trust your instincts. You know your baby best.
Ariyel – Nutrition Services client
The Nutrition program at the Health Division was helpful and impactful for us. Nutrition services helped my baby especially with her being born by c-section. The Health Division staff cares about your child and treats them as their own. They will 100% assist you with any resources. Melinda and all of the resources she’s provided have been very helpful. They don’t leave you in the dark by yourself.
I’d like to tell other black mothers and caregivers to take everything day by day and put your best foot forward. Everything will not be perfect or how you to expect it to turn out, but it’s the best thing in the world. Once I had my baby, I’ve grown a second heart.
Kadejah – Nurturing Parenting Program client
I liked the parenting lessons from the Nurturing Parenting Program and the responses I received from my nurse to affirm that I was doing well as a single mom. Even when I made mistakes, I learned no one is perfect. If my house was a mess, my nurse just responded with, “That’s ok. Your house should be cluttered with toys, you have two little ones.” I received positive feedback from her which was wonderful to hear, especially from an outsider that I was doing well.
No matter how good a parent you think you are, it’s always good to receive more information and parenting techniques to assist you. It was reassuring to hear positive feedback from my nurse. It gave me peace of mind that I was doing well with my boys.
My advice to other mothers and caregivers would be to not be hard on yourself or your kids, and everybody is still learning!
Racquel – Home-visiting nursing client
The resources provided to me to help my son reach his milestones as he develops were helpful to us. The home-visiting nursing program is a great way to receive help and guidance in providing the proper care for your little one.
Some advice I’d share with other black mothers and caregivers is to always be patient with your little ones and enjoy every moment. They only stay small for a short period of time.
If you have any questions about Oakland County Health Division’s program, visit www.oakgov.com/health, or call Nurse on Call at 1-800-848-5533 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stay connected with the Oakland County Health Division on Facebook and Twitter, and visit their website for additional health information and services.
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3 thoughts on “Black Mothers Share Testimonials for Black Maternal Health Week”
This series of expanded information was very helpful to me. The percentages were eye-opening. My only concern was that I was unable to take the CLAS class. The screen showed that I had not chosen an area of study when I had. Frustrating.
Thanks for reaching out, Robin. Please call 1-833-485-1664 (U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services – Think Cultural Health) or email email@example.com for assistance. Thank you!
How many accidents does there have to be between f4anklin and telegraph on 696.. before anyone realizes this construction zone was not well planned. As truck driver this area is seriously hazardous to all drivers. Shut it down or learn how to plan better.