White House Has Declared the First-Ever Maternal Health Day of Action
The Black maternal health crisis is an American crisis. In contrast to similar developed countries, the United States has the highest maternal mortality rate—particularly for Black women, regardless of their education or income level. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Black women are currently three to four times more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications than white women.
In an effort to spark change, on Tuesday, December 7, Vice President Kamala Harris hosted a Maternal Health Summit and issued a nationwide call to action. She marked the day as the White House’s first-ever Maternal Health Day of Action. With the announcement, the Biden and Harris administration pledged their commitment to work for safe pregnancies and childbirth and to reduce mortality in baby’s first year of life.
The call to action follows the administration’s Build Back Better Act, which includes the Black Maternal Health MOMNIBUS Act, passed by the US House of Representatives last month. The Build Back Better Act includes a $3 billion investment in maternal health at local, state and nationwide levels. It stipulates:
- All states to expand their postpartum coverage and improve maternal health services.
- The establishment of a “birthing-friendly” designation to hospitals that specifically focus on bettering maternal outcomes and incorporate improved patient safety practices.
- Improved data collection, maternal health risk monitoring and social factors that influence poor health outcomes and more.
- Requires all states to provide continuous Medicaid coverage for 12 months postpartum. (Currently, states only need to provide coverage for 60 days postpartum.)
This proposed legislation has been a long time coming, but it still needs to be passed in the Senate. We at The Bump want to ensure it gets to the finish line. To help spread the word, drive action and promote maternal equality, check out The Bump’s #SheIsME Instagram Challenge. Show your support and post your own photo (of you and your baby bump, your little ones or just solo!) using #SheIsME in the caption, and encourage your US senator to pass the Build Back Better Act. Black mothers can’t wait—they need better maternal health outcomes and they need them now.
To do our part to support Black mothers, The Bump has launched a dedicated Black Maternal Health Hub in partnership with the National Medical Association. The online resource offers medical advice from experts, timely news updates, a community of Black mothers and much more. It aims to help moms-to-be feel supported, informed and empowered throughout their pregnancy and postpartum. Because every mother has the right to a safe and healthy pregnancy.