Anayah Ayoka, certified nurse-midwife and Twill Care expert

3 Tips for Black Maternal Health, from a Midwife

By Josey Murray
April 16, 2024

Black Maternal Health Week (April 11-17) is about building awareness around maternal health disparities and working toward closing those gaps to ensure healthy pregnancies and births for all families.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that Black women are more likely to experience pregnancy-related complications and three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes compared to white women.

Given these jarring racial disparities in maternal health, pregnant Black women and birthing people may want to know where to turn to help ensure they have healthy pregnancies and deliveries.

In this video, Anayah Ayoka, certified nurse-midwife and Twill Care expert, suggests assembling a birth team to build support and help you have the safest pregnancy and birth possible. She also stresses the importance of knowing where to turn for accurate information and advice.

A birth team can offer reassurance during this important time. Some people you may want to include are:

  • A person you trust to go to doctor’s appointments with you: This person can lend support during overwhelming visits and take notes for you to look over when you’re back home.
  • A doula: A doula is someone trained to offer emotional and educational support during and after pregnancy. During labor and delivery, they can advocate for you and your baby.
  • People in your life with experience and/or knowledge: Have friends or family members who’ve given birth before? They may be able to offer unique support because they’ve already been through it. They may provide clarity and calm when you’re stressed and even help you find high-quality care and trusted information.

An important component of having a healthy pregnancy is getting accurate information. Ayoka recommends digging into where you’re getting your tips and recommendations. Make sure they’re trustworthy and include reputable research.

Get tips for finding high quality health information in our article “How to Find Helpful Health Info for You and Your Baby.”

Learn more about advocacy and ending maternal health disparities in our Black Maternal Health Week content hub.