NPR reports that, “Black women in the United States are 243 percent more likely than white women to die of pregnancy or childbirth related causes. There’s evidence that shows this gap is caused by the “weathering” effects of racism. Weathering is a term coined for stress-induced wear and tear on the body.” This statistic is true across all socioeconomic classes because “it’s a type of stress for which education and class provide no protection.”
There are amazing organizations working to improve outcomes for Black birthing people and we’ve compiled a list of places you can learn more as well as offer your support. Please leave any additional organizations or resources in the comments and we will continue to update this post.
Organizations Supporting Black Maternal Health
- Black Mamas Matter Alliance, BMMA (https://blackmamasmatter.org/): Advocating Black Maternal health, rights and justice. Donate Here. Follow on instagram @blackmamasmatter and facebook
- National Birth Equity Collaborative (https://birthequity.org/): Creates solutions that optimize Black maternal and infant health through training, policy advocacy, research and community-centered collaboration. Donate here. Follow on instagram @birthequity and facebook
- Moms Rising (momsrising.org): Nonpartisan organization pushing for cultural and legislative change. Donate here. Follow on instagram @momsrising and facebook
- The Black Maternal Health Caucus (https://blackmaternalhealthcaucus-underwood.house.gov/Momnibus): Aims to raise awareness within Congress to establish black maternal health as a national priority and explore and advocate for effective, evidence-based, culturally-competent policies and best practices for health outcomes for black mothers.
- Black Women’s Health Imperative (https://bwhi.org/): National organization dedicated to black women and girls’ health and wellness. Donate here. Follow on instagram @blkwomenshealth and facebook
- Black Women Birthing Justice (https://www.blackwomenbirthingjustice.org/): A collective of African-American, African, Caribbean and multiracial women who are committed to transforming birthing experiences for Black women. Donate here. Follow on instagram @birthingjustice and facebook
- Commonsense Childbirth (https://commonsensechildbirth.org/): Inspires change in maternal child health care systems worldwide. Donate here. Follow on facebook
- Mama Toto Village (https://www.mamatotovillage.org/): non-profit organization devoted to creating career pathways for Women of Color in the field of public health and human services. Donate here. Follow on instagram @mamatotovillage and facebook
- Sister Song (https://www.sistersong.net/): Achieving reproductive justice by eradicating reproductive oppression. Donate here. Follow on instagram @sistersong_woc and facebook
- The Blavatnik Family Women’s Health Research Institute (https://icahn.mssm.edu/research/womens-health): Optimizing quality of care for women across the life span and narrowing gaps in treatment and outcomes in underserved populations
- Every Mother Counts (https://everymothercounts.org/): Working to make pregnancy and childbirth safe for everyone, everywhere. Donate here. Follow on instagram @everymomcounts and facebook
- Village Birth International (https://villagebirthinternational.org/): Fostering humane birth practices and increasing access to maternal and infant health through collaborative and equitable international partnerships and trainings. Donate here. Follow on instagram @villagebirthintl and facebook
- The AFIYA Center (https://www.theafiyacenter.org/): Serving Black women and girls by transforming their relationship with their sexual and reproductive health through addressing the consequences of reproduction oppression. Donate here. Follow on instagram @theafiyacenter and facebook
- ROOT, Restoring our own Through Transformation (https://www.roottrj.org/): Black women-led reproductive justice organization dedicated to collectively restoring our well-being through self-determination, collaboration, and resources to meet the needs of women and families within communities. Donate here
- Black Women for Wellness: Black Women for Wellness has been working for over 20 years for maternal and infant health for Black women. Programs include nutrition education, chronic disease prevention, breast cancer support, reproductive justice, environmental justice, sexual health education, civic engagement and policy work.
Education and Community Resources
- Mamas of Color Rising (https://mamasofcolorrising.wordpress.com/): A collective of working class and poor mothers of color around Austin, TX interested in organizing women/mamas of color around issues with accessing needs and building ideal community together. Donate here
- Black Midwives Alliance Train and organize midwives to serve as advocates to address disparities in maternal health care that impact black birthing people. Central goal is to have a representative voice at the national level that clearly outlines and supports the various needs and interests of Black midwives.
- My Brown Baby (http://mybrownbaby.com/): Providing service for those who need information and helping sort through the “beautiful struggle that comes with being black parents in America”. Follow on instagram @mybrownbaby and facebook
- Black Maternal Mortality (https://www.self.com/package/black-maternal-mortality): Examining what we know about the public health crisis and where we go from here
- Black Women Do Breastfeed (https://blackwomendobreastfeed.org/): Making the community of Black breastfeeding visible. Follow on instagram @bwdbf and facebook
- How does Racism Affect Pregnant Women and Babies?: (npr.org) video
- Shades of Blue (http://shadesofblueproject.org/index.html): Help for women before, during, and after childbirth, with a focus on maternal mental health in underserved communities. Follow on instagram @shadesofblueproject and facebook
Doula Education and Services for the Black Community
- Sista Midwife Productions (https://www.sistamidwife.com/): Doula training and education for Black community. Follow on instagram @sistamidwife and facebook
- National Black Doula Association (https://www.blackdoulas.org/): Overall mission is to help fight the Black Maternal Mortality rate in the U.S. and beyond, through education empowerment. Provides a professional business directory and resource for Black Doulas & Trainers in the childbirth industry.
- Sese Doula Services (https://www.sesedoulaservices.com/): Doula services in Bronx, NY. Follow on instagram @sese_doula
- The Black Doula Project: Providing free doulas to Black parents in DC and Baltimore. Donate here. Follow on instagram @blackdoulaproject
- Why maternal outcomes are worse for Black women and what doulas are doing about it: (nyc lens) video
- Radical Doula (https://radicaldoula.com/): Where social justice and birth activism meet. Follow on facebook
- Setting the Standard for Holistic Care of and for Black Women (Black Mama’s Matter Alliance Report 2018)
- Advancing Birth Justice: Community Based Doula Models as a Standard of Care for Ending Racial Disparities
- Why America’s Black Mothers and Babies are in a Life-or-Death Crisis (NY Times)
- Black Maternal Health Anti-Racist Resources (Black Mamas Matter) on instagram
- What’s Behind the Increased Numbers of Black Women Dying During Pregnancy and Childbirth in the United States? (ourbodiesourselves.org)
- Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty by Dorothy Roberts
- Reproductive Justice: A New Vision for the 21st Century by Ross and Solinger
- Birthing Justice: Black Women, Pregnancy and Childbirth by Bonaparte and Oparah
- Radical Reproductive Justice: Foundation, Theory, Practice, Critique by Derkas, Peoples, Toure, Roberts and Ross
- Having Your Baby: For the Special Needs of Black Mothers-to-be, From Conception to Newborn Care by Hilda Hutcherson
We have included amazon links for your convenience but encourage you to shop at these Black-owned book stores if you’re able. @blackpearlbooks @esowonbooks @mahoganybooks @braveandkindbooks @harrietts_bookshop @thelitbar @hakimsbookstore @semicolonchi
- Natal: A Docuseries about having a baby while Black in the United States.
- Homecoming Podcast: At Homecoming, we address two myths: 1) Hospitals are the safest place to give birth and 2) Black families don’t birth at home. We broadcast how Black families birth in love and choose to birth at home, unassisted or with midwives.
- Birth Stories in Color: Birth Stories in Color is a podcast for people of color to share their birthing experiences- a space that specifically celebrates, mourns with and supports people of color and their transformation through birth.
- Sisters in Loss podcast: Sisters in Loss is dedicated to replacing silence with storytelling around pregnancy and infant loss and infertility of Black women.