In the ongoing conversation about maternal health, a glaring concern has been at the forefront of our minds: the disproportionate challenges faced by Black mothers. In response, the United Kingdom, largely thanks to the efforts of campaigners has embraced Black Maternal Awareness Week—an essential initiative dedicated to addressing systemic disparities in maternal healthcare.

The statistics paint a troubling picture: Black women in the UK encounter significantly more complications during pregnancy and childbirth compared to their white counterparts. Shockingly, studies reveal that Black women are 4 times more likely to experience maternal mortality—a stark reminder of the urgency for action. As we mark the 5th Black Maternal Health Awareness Week, it’s a poignant moment in our journey to ensure better outcomes for Black mothers and birthing individuals.

Despite efforts by campaigners and advocates, the statistics remain alarming: Black women are still four times more likely to die during pregnancy, childbirth, or within six weeks after birth in the UK (MBRRACE 2023).

Five X More CIC has united with various Black-led organizations, individuals, and healthcare professionals for a weeklong campaign dedicated to shedding light on these disparities. It’s a call to action—an urgent plea to address this stark inequality. Five X More is committed to effecting change through parliamentary lobbying, advocating for reforms within the NHS, and empowering Black women and birthing individuals to advocate for themselves throughout their pregnancy journey and beyond. Something we are proud to support and champion.

The genesis of Five X More stems from personal experiences, as with a lot of us in this space. Tinuke, one of the founders, was inspired by her own journey of giving birth in 2017, which was marred by a late diagnosis of preeclampsia. Through her platform, Mums and Tea, she realized she wasn’t alone—many Black mothers shared similar negative experiences within the NHS. Partnering with Clo, who supported ethnic minority women during the perinatal stage, they aimed to address these disparities and birthed the organization, Five X More, and we couldn’t be more grateful. Black Maternal health will only thrive if we support individuals like Tinuke and Clo—bold leaders who fearlessly confront disparities and persistently hold others accountable. Our ask is simple, lets make sure the journey doesn’t end here; we demand a collective endeavor from us all. Systemic inequality should be all our business.

The roots of these disparities run deep, intertwined with systemic racism and inequality within healthcare systems. Black women encounter barriers to accessing quality prenatal care, face bias and discrimination from healthcare providers, and often receive disparate treatment and outcomes.

Black Maternal Awareness Week serves as a vital platform to elevate these issues and advocate for meaningful change. By amplifying the voices and experiences of Black mothers, this initiative seeks to spark dialogue, drive policy reforms, and foster community-driven solutions.

Central to this awareness week is the amplification of Black maternal voices. By centering their experiences and perspectives, we gain invaluable insights into how systemic racism impacts maternal health outcomes. Listening to their stories, concerns, and recommendations enables us to develop more effective strategies for improving maternal healthcare and addressing disparities.

Moreover, Black Maternal Awareness Week presents an opportunity to educate healthcare professionals on cultural competency and implicit bias. Through training programs and workshops, we can equip healthcare providers with the tools to recognize and mitigate bias in patient interactions, ultimately fostering more equitable care.

Ultimately, the aim of Black Maternal Awareness Week is to cultivate a healthcare system where every mother, regardless of race or ethnicity, receives the support and care she deserves. By confronting systemic inequities head-on and collaborating to implement lasting change, we can envision a future where Black maternal health disparities are consigned to history.

Make sure you give Five x More a follow on – BLACK MATERNAL HEALTH WEEK 2024 — FIVEXMORE