DID YOU KNOW: African American Mothers Are More Predisposed to Adverse Birth Outcomes

  • Preterm birth is the leading cause of infant deaths in the U.S. before the first birthday.

  • The rate of babies born too soon (<37 weeks gestation) to Black women is 48% higher than other women.

  • Seven hundred women die due to pregnancy-and childbirth-related complications. The risk is 3-4 times higher for Black women.

  • Racism is the hidden trigger for internalized mistreatment, early onset of chronic illness and premature death (<75 years old).

  • Education and income are not protective factors for Black women. Throughout 2017, news outlets, social media, articles, podcasts, and videos circulated stories of Black women who escaped pregnancy complications; or whose deaths are the told through grieving family members. Where are the opportunities to improve women’s health and the quality and safety of maternity care? Allow Black women to be the subject matter experts. Value the Black mothers’ voice.

  • The California Department of Public Health, Maternal, Child and Adolescent Division identified thought leaders in maternal and infant health in CA and Los Angeles County and launched the CA Community Birth Plan in September 2017.

  • The goal is to reduce the Black preterm birth rate from the current 11.8% in CA, down to 8.1% by 2020, and to 5.5% by 2030.

  • One-third of CA births occur in LA County where the highest number of Black births. The work piloted will be replicated throughout CA.