UofL Health providers and staff with UofL Hospital – Center for Women & Infants will participate in Black Maternal Health Week events with the Louisville Coalition for Black Maternal Health, April 11 through 17. The Louisville Coalition for Black Maternal Health will recognize the week with virtual activities open to the community. The annual event was created by the Black Mamas Matter Alliance (BMMA) to create awareness, start conversations, encourage community organizing, and to center the voices of Black Mamas and birthing people.

The Louisville Coalition for Black Maternal Health is comprised of perinatal service providers and community organizers. Members include healthcare providers, midwives, nurses, doulas, lactation specialists, mental health practitioners, public health advocates and social justice organizers.

The goal around the events is to raise awareness and promote health equity in Louisville, starting with programs that will be a platform to ignite change and improve outcomes for women of color in our community. The events will examine the status quo and evaluate how current practices and policies are impacting Black maternal health; give participants tangible advice or steps that can lead to actions; and provide the community with the space to learn, comment and critique.

At the center of focus are current and future Black Mamas and birthing people. Family, community, and perinatal service providers that are involved in the process of birth are encouraged to participate, as are government personnel and elected officials.

Additional information on each event, as well as sign up information is available on the coalition’s Facebook page (@CBMHLou).

Events:

  • Sunday, April 11, 2 to 4 p.m.: Black Maternal Health Week Opening Session- Racial Disparities in Maternal Mortality and Morbidity. Will include viewing of film “Death by Delivery,” followed by a Q&A panel including keynote speaker Shawnee Benton Gibson, The ARIAH Foundation, Spirit of a Woman Leadership; Carmen Antonetty, Southern Birth Justice Network; Meka Kpoh, Black Birth Justice; and Tamara Etienne, Labor Land Doula. Dr. Edward Miller, a maternal-fetal medicine physician with UofL Health, will facilitate the discussion.
  • Sunday, April 11, 6 to 8 p.m.: Birth Justice as a Tool to Address Perinatal Health Disparities. Key note speakers: Jamarah Amani & Tiffany Burks, Southern Birth Justice Network. UofL Health certified nurse-midwife Damara Jenkins and Dr. Edward Miller, a maternal-fetal medicine physician with UofL Health, will be on the panel.
  • Monday, April 12, 12 to 1 p.m.: Benefits of breastfeeding and lactation support
  • Monday, April 12, 6:30 to 8 p.m.: Planning your pregnancy, optimizing health: presentation as a conversation/interview including Dr. Tanya Franklin, an OB/GYN with UofL Health.
  • Tuesday, April 13, 6 p.m. – Black Maternal Health & Public Policy Panel with Representative Attica Scott, Senator Reggie Thomas, Jackie McGranahan, Chante  Perryman, Alexa Hughes
  • Wednesday, April 14, 7 to 8:30 p.m.:  The Fourth Trimester: What Changes to Expect with UofL Health OB/GYN fellows Drs. Coates and Frazier. Taryn Ray, a nurse at UofL Hospital – Center for Women & Infants will facilitate the discussion.
  • Thursday, April 15, 12 to 1 p.m.: Decolonizing Your Practice. UofL Health certified-nurse midwife Damara Jenkins will interview four birth workers from the community.
  • Thursday, April 15, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Black Maternal Health and Mental Health
  • Thursday, April 15, 7 to 8:30 p.m.: Provider Networking: Break-out rooms for perinatal service providers. UofL Health certified-nurse midwife Damara Jenkins will serve as one of the discussion facilitators.
  • Friday, April 16, 5 to 6:30 p.m.: Black Birth Joy – Join us as we share birth stories, tips and information around pregnancy and birth as Black people. Together we will lift up ancestral methods of birthing and parenting passed down in our families and culture. We will discuss resilience in the face of trauma and institutions that fail to adequately serve us.
  • Saturday, April 17, 1 to 3 p.m. Cultural Celebration – To end our week of information we close with affirmation! Black people have what it takes to birth and raise the next generation of liberated and joyful beings! We will gather for a virtual Blessingway setting intentions with spiritual bath kit making and celebrating ourselves and loved ones bringing life into this world! No admission into zoom after 1:20 p.m.