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Black Maternal Mental Health Week

Published: 08/28/19

August 26-31, 2019 marks the first Black Maternal Mental Health Week. It’s a week dedicated to creating awareness and engaging in conversations centered on black maternal mental health in the United States.

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), about 20 percent of women around the world or 1 out of 5 women has PMAD, which is Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorder. PMAD include depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder or (rarely) psychosis. These disorders can occur either during pregnancy or in the year after giving birth.

The risk factors associated with PMADs affect black women almost twice that of white women in the United States. Some of these risk factors are health-related and some are related to unequal conditions in our society such as not having access to quality medical care or not having medical care at all, financial barriers, living in an unsafe neighborhood, and chronic stress. Black women are at higher risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, and mental health issues. Although these health issues can present themselves outside of pregnancy, they can either lead to or exasperate complications during pregnancy. Because black women face more barriers receiving mental health care and or follow-ups, have a fear of being labeled as an unfit mother, and have lack of trust in the health care system,they are less likely to get treatment or receive quality mental health care. The consequences of these disparities can increase the risk of such things as smoking, drinking, drug-use, pregnancy–related deaths and premature delivery.

So let’s work together to ensure access to health care for all moms and babies, support policies and programs to prevent maternal mortality that focus on health equity, and support efforts that can help reduce the risk of having preterm babies.Therefore, let’s keep fighting to level the playing field so that all moms and babies are healthy.When a society supports every family, the future is brighter for everyone.

For more information:

Central Health Center
(Guy M. Tate)

1400 Sixth Avenue South
Birmingham, AL 35233
(205) 588-5234

(205) 933-9110
Eastern Health Center
601 West Blvd Roebuck
Birmingham, AL 35206
Programs and Clinics
(205) 588-5234
Western Health Center
631 Bessemer Super Hwy
Midfield, AL 35228
Programs and Clinics
(205) 588-5234
Hours of Operation:
All Centers are open 7:45am to 4:30pm. Phone lines for clinic appointments open at 7:00am Monday through Friday.

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