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.
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.
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
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!
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
Policy and Reports
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.
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.
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.