40% of Black women experience maternal mental health symptoms, nearly twice the rate of all women.
A maternal mental health crisis
Black Maternal Mental Health Week (July 19 – 25) raises awareness of maternal mental health issues affecting Black women during pregnancy, childbirth, and after.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), mental health conditions (such as depression, anxiety, death by suicide, and substance use disorders) are the leading cause of maternal mortality. Perinatal mood disorders are one of the leading complications of pregnancy and childbirth. Racial disparities are well documented in the diagnosis and treatment of maternal mental health issues. Perinatal mood disorders can affect any woman, yet Black women often face stress and health disadvantages that increase their likelihood. The stark reality is:
- 1 in 5 new moms experience a maternal mental health condition.
- However, 40% of Black women experience maternal mental health symptoms—nearly twice the rate of all women.
- Up to half of these women do not receive any support or treatment.
Black Maternal Mental Health Week is also a time for action. As a society, we must address the disparities Black women face and call on healthcare providers to increase access to screening, support, and treatment for mental health conditions. We can do better for Black moms who need our support for chronic maternal stress and maternal mental health conditions. Join us by: