Today marks the start of the fifth annual Black Maternal Health Week (#BMHW22) and the second consecutive year it has been recognized through an official White House proclamation. It is also the International Day for Maternal Health and Rights.

Black birthing parents in the U.S. are over three times more likely to die in pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum year than White women—a gap that increases with maternal age and persists regardless of income or education. Founded and led by Black Mamas Matter Alliance, BMHW seeks to center the voices of Black mamas, women, families and stakeholders, and to provide a national forum for Black-led entities and scholarship on maternal health, birth and reproductive justice ( At WHA, we believe that listening to these voices will help us provide better and safer care to Black birthing parents and their families.

Towards these goals, we invite everyone to learn more about events throughout the week and to follow Black-led maternal health organizations working to shine a light on and end health disparities for Black birthing people. Here are just a few ideas; we also recommend the Natal podcast as a must-listen for all who provide service and care to Black parents.