California Black Women's Health Project is committed to addressing institutional and structural racism impacting the maternal well-being of Black women, babies and families throughout the birthing journey and beyond. We recognize the importance of uplifting the voices of Black mothers and families and supporting Black Birth Workers on the frontlines serving our community. We are committed to advocating for policies that address implicit racial bias and expand opportunities for Black Birth workers to meet the needs of Black women, babies and families.
Sister Circle for Black Healers in Maternal Health
CABWHP recognizes that Black birth workers, healers, community leaders, mothers also need a safe space to share, affirm our unique experiences and celebrate our work and ability to show up in the face of adversity. We need a space to set it all down, talk it out, breathe, get support from our sisters and love on ourselves. We had an intimate collective conversation by the water, and collectively exhaled and poured into each other the tools and love we need to keep showing up for ourselves, our mothers, our babies and our community.
COVID-19 Birthing People's Bill of Rights
Lifting the Voices of
Planning for a Healthy Home Body and Baby
We partner with the Iris Cantor - UCLA Women's Health Education & Research Center to promote community advocacy around issues related to reproductive health and the environment. CABWHP understands the importance of bringing attention to the risks to reproductive health from environmental toxins. We also assist with the planning of the annual Conference on Women's Reproductive Health and the Environment in Los Angeles County.
As mothers, as daughters and members of our community, we have to advocate for changes and more intervention through policy around remediating the toxins within our communities." - Natalie Champion, CABWHP Project Manager
Healing Sister Circle - Black Maternal Health Week
In collaboration with Sankofa Birth Workers Collective and Black Women Birthing Justice, CABWHP co-hosted a Healing Sister Circle in celebration of Black Maternal Health Week (April 11-17,2019). We gathered birth workers, healers and mothers to celebrate and honor our stories of service and thriving in the face of adversity and discrimination and discussed the importance of advocating for improving Black maternal health outcomes.
Black Mamas Matter Alliance
Black Mamas Matter Alliance is a Black women-led cross-sectoral alliance that centers Black mamas to advocate, drive research, build power, and shift culture for Black maternal health, rights, and justice. #BlackMamasMatter
Special Series: Black Infant Mortality
KPCC’s Priska Neely, whose own family is part of the statistic, produced a series of stories examining the history of the black-white gap in outcomes for babies and what communities are trying to do to tackle the issue. Her reporting shows that the root cause is a social one, and the suspected assailant is systemic racism and the chronic stress brought on by being a black woman in this country.
Supporting the Physical and Mental Health of New and Expectant Black Mothers
The article examines the highs and lows of pregnancy and how it undoubtedly adds stress to an expecting mother’s life and how for women of color, that stress can be heightened.
How Does Race Impact Childbirth Outcomes?(https://online.nursing.georgetown.edu/blog/race-disparities-maternal-infant-outcomes/)
Covers why experts believe persistent poverty, chronic stress and lack of access to health care providers are some of the factors that explain the problem of America’s high maternal mortality rates.
Black Infant Health
Black Infant Health seeks to improve African-American infant and maternal health, as well as decrease Black-White health inequities and social inequities for women and infants. BIH serves African-American women who are 18 years or older and up to 30 weeks pregnant at the time of enrollment. Services are provided by Family Health Advocates, Group Facilitators, Public Health Nurses and Social Workers.
CinnaMoms Breastfeeding Support Circle
CinnaMoms Breastfeeding support circle provides a safe space to discuss life, health, and breastfeeding while breaking down barriers and proving that #BlackWomenDoBreastfeed!
Kindred Space LA/Birthing People Foundationhttps://www.kindredspacela.com/birthing-people
Kindred Space LA/ Birthing People Foundation Offer home birth in the greater Los Angeles area and Birth Center, which is located in South L.A. They also offer lactation consultation, placenta encapsulation, childbirth education, parenting support, birth worker trainings and a lot more.
Black Child Legacy Campaign
The Black Child Legacy Campaign is the community-driven movement established by the Steering Committee on Reduction of African American Child Deaths, which is working to reduce deaths of African American children by 10% to 20% by 2020 in Sacramento County.
Every Mother Counts (EMC)
Every Mother Counts works to make pregnancy and childbirth safe for every mother, everywhere.
California Women, Infants and Children
PHFE WIC has more than 50 centers throughout Los Angeles, Orange, and San Bernardino Counties. Use the locator tool to find a WIC Center near you.
Contact: Toncé Jackson, MPH, RDN, CLE
Education and Projects Manager, STEP Department PHFE WIC, (626) 856-6618 ext. 310; Toncej@phfewic.org
National Black Midwives Alliance
National Black Midwives Alliance goal is to have a representatives voice at the national level that clearly outlines the various needs of Black Midwives. #BlackMidwives
Policy and Reports
H.R. 6132 - The Social Determinants for Moms Act of 2020
Congresswoman Lauren Underwood, Congresswoman Alma Adams, Senator Kamala Harris, and members of the Black Maternal Health Caucus introduced The Black Maternal Health Momnibus.
H.R. 3849 Midwives for Maximizing Optimal Maternity Services (MOMS) Act
The Midwives for MOMS Act seeks to improve maternal health outcomes; ensure access to high-quality (equity) maternal health services for women, newborns, individuals, and families; and help end crisis level U.S. maternal mortality rates by expanding educational opportunities for Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNMs), and Certified Midwives (CMs). This is the first-time federal policymakers have prioritized investment in accredited midwifery education programs.
H.R. 271 Mamas First Act
The purpose of Mamas First Act is to amend title XIX of the Social Security Act to provide coverage under the Medicaid program for services provided by doulas and midwives, and other purposes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the maternal mortality rate varies drastically for women by race and ethnicity.
AB 241 - Implicit Bias: Continuing Education: Requirements
Implicit bias means the attitudes or internalized stereotypes that affect our perceptions, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner exist and often contributes to unequal treatment of people based on specific traits and social groups (race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, disability, and other characteristics).
SB 464 - Dignity in Pregnancy and Childbirth Act
Addresses the alarming disparities in maternal health by requiring all medical providers involved in perinatal services at hospitals and alternative birth centers to undergo evidence-based implicit bias training and evaluation.
The Maternal Care Access and Reducing Emergencies (CARE) Act
Focuses on eliminating racial discrepancies in U.S. maternal mortality rates - the death of a woman while pregnant or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy, from complications related to pregnancy, labor, delivery, or abortion - by creating two key Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) grant programs: 1) Implicit Bias Training Grants and 2) Pregnancy Medical Home Demonstration Project.
SB 3363 Maternal Care Access and Reducing Emergencies (Maternal CARE) Act
The Maternal Care Access and Reducing Emergencies (Maternal CARE) Act creates two new grant programs and directs a study focused on reducing racial health disparities in maternal health. The Implicit Bias Training Grants address implicit bias in judgment or behavior resulting from implicit attitudes and stereotypes by establishing a $25 million competitive grant program directed to medical schools, nursing schools, and other health professionals training programs to support implicit bias training.
SB 1237 Nurse-Midwives: Scope of Practice
Existing law, the Nursing Practice Act, establishes the Board of Registered Nursing within the Department of Consumer Affairs for the licensure and regulation of the practice of nursing. A violation of the act is a crime. Existing law requires the board to issue a certificate to practice nurse-midwifery to a person who, among other qualifications, meets educational standards established by the board or the equivalent of those educational standards. Existing law authorizes a certified nurse-midwife, under the supervision of a licensed physician and surgeon, to attend cases of normal childbirth and to provide prenatal, intrapartum, and postpartum care, including family-planning care, for the mother, and immediate care for the newborn. Existing law defines the practice of nurse-midwifery as the furthering or undertaking by a certified person, under the supervision of a licensed physician and surgeon who has current practice or training in obstetrics, to assist a woman in childbirth so long as progress meets criteria accepted as normal.
SB 1383 Unlawful Employment Practices: California Family Rights Act
Existing law prohibits an employer from refusing to allow a female employee disabled by pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition to take a leave for a reasonable time of up to 4 months before returning to work. Existing law also prohibits an employer from refusing to maintain and pay for coverage under a group health plan for an employee who takes that leave, as specified. The California Family Rights Act specifies that those existing pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical condition leave provisions are separate and distinct from the protections provided by the California Family Rights Act.
Battling Over Birth: Black Women & The Maternal Health Care Crisis in California
This report from Black Women Birthing Justice shares stories from over 100 women who recently gave birth in California. The report reveals the culture of fear and coercion that has transformed birth into a battleground, a deep lack of trust of our hospitals, and a broken maternal health-care system that fails too many black women. The report shakes up our understanding of where state violence happens, and who it happens to; putting the human rights spotlight onto a system that is often unaccountable to black communities.
The Role of Socioeconomic Factors in Black-White Disparities in Preterm Birth coauthored by CABWHP Board Chair Tyan Parker Dominguez, Ph.D., MPH, MSW
Socioeconomic factors play an important but complex role in PTB disparities. The absence of Black–White disparities in PTB within certain socioeconomic subgroups, alongside substantial disparities within others, suggests that social factors moderate the disparity. Further research should explore social factors suggested by the literature—including life course socioeconomic experiences and racism-related stress, and the biological pathways through which they operate—as potential contributors to PTB among Black and White women with different levels of social advantage.