Featured Image

Black women are three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications than white women, as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This alarming fact isn’t just a statistic—it represents real people: mothers, daughters, and friends who were failed by deep-seated inequalities in our healthcare system.

Studies have indicated that Black women are often dismissed or ignored when reporting injuries or pregnancy-related complications, including complaints of pain, contributing to higher mortality rates and poorer health outcomes.

At Beam Legal Team, we are deeply committed to being part of the solution, recognizing that everyone can play a role in working to prevent pregnancy-related deaths and improving maternal health outcomes.

What Is Black Maternal Health Week?

Black Maternal Health Week is observed annually April 11-17. It was founded in 2018 by the Black Mamas Matter Alliance. The week is dedicated to raising awareness about the maternal health issues Black women face in America. It aims to strengthen the voices of Black mothers, highlight racial disparities in maternal health care, and call for systemic changes to improve health outcomes for Black women.

During this week, activities and discussions focus on addressing the reasons why Black women are disproportionately affected by adverse pregnancy outcomes, including higher rates of maternal mortality and morbidity.

What Adverse Outcomes Disproportionately Affect Pregnant Black Women?

Pregnant Black women in America face a range of adverse outcomes and complications at higher rates than pregnant women of other races. Here are some of the critical complications and health issues that disproportionately affect Black pregnant women:

  • Higher Maternal Mortality Rates: Black women are much more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than women of other races. This disparity remains even after accounting for factors like socio-economic status or underlying health conditions.
  • Pre-Eclampsia and Eclampsia: Black women are more likely to develop pre-eclampsia and eclampsia, severe conditions related to high blood pressure that can be life-threatening if not properly managed.
  • Gestational Diabetes: This condition occurs when a woman without diabetes develops high blood sugar levels during pregnancy. Black women are at a higher risk of developing gestational diabetes, which can complicate pregnancy and increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.
  • Preterm Birth and Low Birthweight: Black women are more likely to have preterm births and babies with low birthweight. Both conditions are leading causes of neonatal mortality and can have long-term impacts on children’s health.
  • Cesarean Delivery: Black women are also more likely to undergo cesarean sections, which can lead to longer recovery times and higher risks of complications in subsequent pregnancies.
  • Postpartum Depression: While postpartum depression can affect women of any race, Black women are less likely to receive treatment for it. Factors like stigma, lack of access to appropriate mental health care, and racial bias in healthcare settings contribute to this disparity.
  • Underlying Chronic Conditions: Black women are more likely to enter pregnancy with pre-existing chronic conditions such as obesity, hypertension, and certain autoimmune diseases, which can complicate pregnancy and delivery.

Understanding the Deep-Rooted Disparities

There are many reasons for these disparities among Black mothers, involving socio-economic factors, systemic racism in healthcare, and a lack of culturally sensitive care.

Black Maternal Health Week reminds us to focus on these problems, educate health professionals and the public, and push for important policy reforms. At Beam Legal Team, we aim to improve health outcomes and ensure Black mothers nationwide receive the respectful, high-quality healthcare they deserve.

Legal Perspectives and Advocacy

From a legal viewpoint, it’s crucial to protect the rights of pregnant women, particularly those who are most vulnerable to preventable complications and birth-related injuries. Our firm is committed to this cause, and we strive for justice for affected families by aggressively holding healthcare providers accountable for their negligence.

The impact of negligence can be catastrophic when medical errors occur, including misdiagnosis, delayed treatment, or insufficient prenatal care. Legal action in these situations is more than seeking damages—it’s about driving systemic changes to prevent these errors from happening again. Holding medical providers accountable leads to safer healthcare for all mothers.

Standing Up for Black Mothers and Babies

At Beam Legal Team, we have observed firsthand the disproportionate impact of these issues on our clients—up to 80% of whom are Black or brown babies suffering from birth injuries. These disparities are a stark reminder of the inequities that exist across the spectrum of healthcare, including access to necessary interventions such as cesarean sections. Research has revealed that patients with private insurance are more likely to receive cesarean sections than patients with public assistance, suggesting an underlying bias in treatment options offered.

Moreover, the use of Pitocin, a synthetic hormone used to induce or augment labor by increasing uterine contractions, has been linked to increased risks for Black mothers and their babies. Pitocin is a “High Alert” medication by the FDA, associated with serious and potentially catastrophic side effects including death, brain damage, and central nervous system (CNS) damage. Our firm’s experience shows a troubling pattern of its misuse, particularly among Black mothers, often in attempts to avoid performing a cesarean section. Every year, Beam Legal Team takes on numerous cases where hospitals have inappropriately used Pitocin, leading to preventable harm to Black mothers and their newborns.

A Commitment to Action

This Black Maternal Health Week, we hope everyone joins us on a journey of learning and advocacy. We encourage everyone, from healthcare workers to lawmakers, to educate themselves about racial disparities in maternal health and take definite steps toward improvement. Supporting laws that promote health equality and initiatives that provide resources and education for those at risk is crucial.

We also urge our community to support organizations working on these issues and to demand better healthcare for Black mothers. As a law firm specializing in birth injuries, Beam Legal Team is dedicated to promoting a safer, more equitable healthcare system. Change starts with awareness, and awareness leads to the power to make meaningful improvements.

Pursue Justice With Beam Legal Team

The persistent differences in health quality and access, reflected in higher maternal mortality rates and shorter life expectancies among Black Americans, demand concerted efforts and targeted interventions. Beam Legal Team is proud to stand with Black mothers and families not only during Black Maternal Health Week but throughout the year. Our team of legal professionals is dedicated to investigating and advocating for those affected by medical negligence during childbirth. We handle a wide range of birth injury cases nationwide, including cases related to brain injuries, cerebral palsy, hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), and more.

If you or a loved one has suffered due to medical negligence or inadequate care during childbirth, we urge you to reach out for a free consultation. Let us be your advocate in seeking the justice and compensation you deserve.

Categories: Birth Injury,