Black Maternal Health Week

A pregnant Black mother looks down at her stomach.Black Maternal Health Week is observed from April 11th to 17th; it is focused on raising awareness about inequities in health outcomes among Black mothers throughout the United States. According to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the U.S. has one of the highest maternal mortality rates among high-income nations. While this crisis affects all mothers, Black mothers are disproportionately likely to die due to pregnancy complications.

Several factors contribute to Black mothers’ increased mortality rate, including:

  • Limited access to high-quality medical care due to geographic factors and the potentially high cost of needed treatments
  • Organizational structures and policies that provide inadequate support for Black mothers
  • A lack of sufficient data and understanding on the part of organizations and providers regarding the health needs and circumstances of individual Black mothers and their children

At Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, Black maternal health is important to us, and we have initiated and continually improved upon several programs designed to create a more equitable care environment for mothers at our hospital. For example, our CenteringPregnancy program offers pre-natal care in a group setting facilitated by doctors, nurses, and midwives, where expectant mothers with similar due dates can share experiences, receive support, and learn effective ways of staying healthy throughout pregnancy.

In addition to CenteringPregnancy, our hospital also offers access to midwife care and support from doulas, who help to ensure that mothers receive the guidance and support they need throughout their care. We also adhere to the Respectful Care at Birth initiative, a New York City Department of Health program focused on:

  • Providing easy-to-understand information about pregnancy, childbirth, and the care you will receive
  • Providing a sanitary, supportive environment in which to receive the care you need and give birth to your child
  • Supporting the ability and authority of mothers to make informed decisions about their care
  • Reinforcing the expectation that patients of all races and backgrounds will be treated with dignity and respect throughout their care
  • Ensuring that mothers have the support they need in terms of information, care, and having family members (or other people of their choosing) present during their care

No matter your race or background, you can always expect to receive comprehensive, high-quality maternal care at Jamaica Hospital’s Women’s Health Center. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, please call (718) 291-3276.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.