Black Infants and Families deserve to have healthy and joyous birthing experiences. However, due to systemic and historic racism, Black mothers and babies face higher rates of negative health outcomes and complications during pregnancy, delivery and postpartum. When compared to their white counterparts, Black mothers and babies are four times more likely to experience birthing complications even when adjusting for socioeconomic background.


The Root Cause of Black Infant and Maternal Health Disparities

Research shows that the stress caused by a Black person’s exposure to racism and the impact of that stress on a Black woman/birthing person’s body, compounded by structures in society that perpetuate racism and the presence of implicit and overt bias in the systems of support that interact with Black families, is the root cause of the Black infant and maternal health disparity.

First 5 LA and Department of Public Health are working to reduce racial birthing disparities by partnering with private, public and community organizations that are working together to implement the following solutions so that all Black families in L.A. County can have joyous and healthy births:

  • Quality health care delivered with respect and dignity
  • Sister circles and prenatal groups providing encouragement and support
  • Mommy visits at home
  • Connection to resources and programs
  • Birthing coaches and advocates
  • Laws that place power in the hands of families and address unfair treatment
  • Birth plans and a way of advancing them

Resources & Support For Black Mothers and Families

Los Angeles County Department of Public Health/First 5 LA’s Black Infants and Families Website:

Black Infant Health (

Breast Feed LA (

Black Women for Wellness (

California Black Women’s Health Project (

Cinnamoms (

Essential Health Access (

Healthy African American Families (

iDREAM for Racial Health Equity (

Los Angeles County Health Agency (

March of Dimes (

Maternal Mental Health Now (

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