For our April blog post I wanted to do something a little different. April 11-17 is Black Maternal Health Week. This is an important week officially starting in 2018 to accomplish these goals as defined by Black Mamas Matter Alliance on their website:
Change Policy: Introduce and advance policy grounded in the human rights framework that addresses Black maternal health inequity and improves Black maternal health outcomes
Cultivate Research: Leverage the talent and knowledge that exists in Black communities and cultivate innovative research methods to inform the policy agenda to improve Black maternal health
Advance Care for Black Mamas: Explore, introduce, and enhance holistic and comprehensive approaches to Black mamas’ care
Shift Culture: Redirect and reframe the conversation on Black maternal health and amplify the voices of Black mamas
I, as a mental health clinician, recognize the role of racism in healthcare and have personally seen the long-lasting effects of inadequate counseling, intervention, access and support BIPOC people have received during pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum.
As I am not Black, it feels most appropriate to let Black mothers tell their stories in their own words. To let them use their own voices to express their understanding of the problem and remain as an active listener in this conversation. I do not see it as my role to interpret how they feel or pretend to understand or share my own experiences here.
This month I would like to encourage you to read a few articles and educate yourself on these topics. I’d like to amplify the work Black women and mothers are doing and support them in this, among other, ways.
Thank you for taking the time to learn more about how Black mothers and their children are gravely impacted by racism in healthcare and the world.
If you’re looking for more information you can go to https://blackmamasmatter.org/ where you can read and donate to the work they are doing.
If you’d like to support locally, you can do so here and support Black Mamas Matter ATX.