Driving change: Black Maternal Health Awareness Week 2021

Last week saw the second Black Maternal Health Awareness Week, organised by Five X More. Read more about the week and get involved.

Black Maternal Health Awareness Week was started last year to raise awareness of the terrible disparities Black women and birthing people experience in the UK.

Black women are four times more likely to die during pregnancy and childbirth

Black women are four times more likely to die during pregnancy, childbirth and six weeks after compared to White women, as shown in the MBRRACE report in 2020. Mixed race women are three times more likely to die, and Asian women twice as likely.

In response to these unacceptable statistics, Five X More was created, a grassroots organisation which has set out to change Black women and birthing people’s health outcomes in the UK. It was named after the fact that shockingly, 2018 and 2019 MBRRACE reports showed that Black women were five times more likely to die than White women.

Changing the Narrative

The theme this year was ‘Changing the Narrative,’ as Black women have suffered a higher risk of death during childbirth and pregnancy in the UK for decades. The aim of the week was to empower Black women and birthing people to have the information to be able to make choices and advocate for themselves.

The week also focused on educating health professionals working in maternity services to take active steps for safer care for Black women and birthing people. To help people understand more about those who might look after them during pregnancy and the early days of having a baby, Five X More featured a range of fantastic videos on Instagram where health professionals talked about their roles. Follow them on @fivexmore_ to watch.

During the week, Bell Ribeiro-Addy MP spoke in parliament about these appalling disparities in maternal healthcare for Black women, and pushed for more to be done to end them. An All-Party Parliamentary Group on Black Maternal Health was also announced, chaired by Bell Ribeiro-Addy, to support the campaign.


How can you get involved?

During the week, Five X More encouraged people to write to their MP to ask them to sign up to the Black Maternal Health Pledge. Find out more on their website.

You can also follow Five X More’s incredible work on Instagram and Twitter @fivexmore_ where you’ll find some fantastic resources.