Fight for Black FAMILIES
Every single time we dismantle structural racism, we're saving a Black mother's life and we are saving a Black baby’s life. Our lives matter, so this work is something that we all need to take on right away.
Dr. Zea Malawa
2 to 3 times more likely to be born too soon
or too small
Black babies in the Bay Area are two to three times more likely to be born too soon or too small, or to die before their first birthday.
(Data sources: California Comprehensive Birth File 2018-2020, CADPH, CADPH California Comprehensive Death File 2018-2020, Fetail Death Statistical Master File 2015-2017)
More likely to experience pregnancy complications
Black women and birthing people are more likely to experience pregnancy complications such as pre-eclampsia, hypertension and C-sections. Research shows that these complications are driven by toxic stress related to health care provider bias and transgenerational exposure to racism.
(Data sources: California Patient Discharge Data, California Birth Statistical Masterfile, CDC, CADPH Vital Registration Birth Information System (VRBIS), California Comprehensive Birth File 2018-2020, CADPH)
Twice as likely to live in poverty
Black women and birthing people in the Bay Area are twice as likely to live in poverty than other county residents and to report experiencing more hardships during pregnancy — such as homelessness, loss of a loved one or food insecurity.
(Data source: Maternal Infant Health Assessment 2013-2015)
50% experience unfair treatment getting medical care
Almost half of African Americans in California report that they have experienced unfair treatment getting medical care due to their race.
(Data source: California Health Interview Survey, 2015-2017, pooled data)
What's behind these statistics?
Racism and bias
Black mothers, babies and families deserve to be healthy, safe and supported throughout their birth journey and their lives. Yet, racism is harming Black families' ability to have safe and healthy pregnancies and births. These disparities persist despite the level of education Black mothers have, their income, where they live, or their health habits. The structural racism Black people experience throughout their lives — and the bias they encounter from health professionals during their birthing experience — are the root causes.
Many of us in the Bay Area say we value equity, inclusion and justice, but Black families all too often tell a different story. Everyone in the Bay Area has a role to play in dismantling the unjust systems and practices that are robbing Black mothers and babies of their futures. We must take action now to root out racism and bias, and repair the harm it inflicts on the health and lives of Black mothers, families and babies.