Black women in the United States are disproportionately more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications than white women — and it’s one of the largest racial disparities in women’s health nationwide. In Los Angeles County, Black women are four times more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications than other women, regardless of income or education level.
What’s being done to address this?
There are many efforts underway to try to close the gap. Among them is a campaign that Black Mamas Matter Alliance launched four years ago to spotlight Black maternal health and promote activism and community building around it. This led to the recognition of April 11-17 as Black Maternal Health Week. This year, the L.A. County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to proclaim Black Maternal Health Week, and to recognize April 16 as The Day of the Black Infant. The White House also issued its first ever proclamation of Black Maternal Health Week.
Before these official declarations, L.A. County issued a 5-Year Action Plan to reduce the racial gap in infant mortality by 30% by 2023. In the same vein, the county’s public health department, in partnership with First 5 LA, launched the Los Angeles County African American Infant and Maternal Mortality (AAIMM) Initiative.
During this year’s Black Maternal Health Week, AAIMM hosted a number of events about improving health outcomes for Black families in L.A. County. Here is a recording of a virtual panel presentation they hosted during the week that highlights the work of the AAIMM initiative:
They also recently launched their first video of a series that highlights healthy birth experiences for Black families. This first video recounts a mom’s experience participating in the AAIMM Doula Program.
Interested in learning about other support services available for Black families in L.A. County? Check out our resource guide: Better Together: Support Services for African-American Moms and Families During and After Pregnancy