Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department announcement.
In 2020, Black women in the United States were 3 times more likely to die due to pregnancy related complications while pregnant than white women. Black babies are nearly twice as likely to die as other infants. These disparities exist regardless of income and education.
We’re working to address that crisis in Pierce County.
This week is the 6th annual Black Maternal Health Week. The goal is to bring awareness and broaden the conversation around Black Maternal Health in the U.S.
Racial inequalities lead to poor health outcomes.
The Black Mamas Matter Alliance is a Black women-led association that works to improve maternal health outcome. It’s an inclusive association for anyone who gives birth–cis women, trans people, and gender-expansive people.
Multiple factors contribute to the staggering inequality in Black Maternal Health, like:
- Access to quality healthcare.
- Structural racism.
- Implicit bias from healthcare providers.
- Underlying chronic conditions.
Health should not be determined by race, gender, zip code, income, or any other factor. Adverse social, economic, and environmental (SEE) conditions like these create poor health outcomes. We call them health inequities because they’re unfair, avoidable, and harm some people and groups more than others.
Every Mama deserves a healthy birth and baby.
Our Black Infant Health program (BIH) leads our work for healthy births and babies in Pierce County. Achieving health equity means everyone has a fair chance to be as healthy as possible. BIH strives to provide:
- Health education.
- Health support.
- Resources for mothers and others.
We also work with communities and agencies of churches, pastors, ministers, community groups and public health nurses to help families with things like:
- One-on-one home visits.
- Connecting women to resources.
- More support, including:
- Free or low-cost health insurance.
- Doctor appointments.
- Breastfeeding support.
- Resources to quit smoking.
- Food (WIC, SNAP-Ed).
- Childbirth education and parenting classes.
- Referral to a nutritionist.
- Depression/anxiety resources.
Achieving equity for all.
We have many ways to work toward health equity.
First, we must acknowledge the problem, learn and support community-building.
We also must recognize race and ethnicity play a big role in the quality of healthcare people receive. So do things like:
- Where people live.
- How much education they have.
- How much money they make.
We have work to do and we need everyone’s help.
Your support for programs like BIH helps. Interested in getting the word out? Email us.
To learn more about Black Maternal Health Week, visit the website. And sign up for the Your Reliable Source blog for regular updates on important public health topics.