Kizzy’s Blog – Let’s Talk about Black Maternal Health Disparities

Kizzy’s Blog – Let’s Talk about Black Maternal Health Disparities

Kizzy Green, our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Lead Officer has written about her experience around the topic of Black maternal health disparities and what we can do to make a difference.

Pregnancy and childbirth- what a beautiful miracle!

Yet, the stark reality of Black maternal health disparities loom over many of us like a dark cloud.

Last month was Black Maternal Health Week, which raises awareness about the challenges faced by Black mothers. I wanted to shed light on some of these disparities and advocate for meaningful support for other Black mothers within our organisation. When using the term ‘Black’, I’m referring to people who identify as belonging to Black British, African, Caribbean, or other Black heritage backgrounds.

Did you know that Black mothers are four times more likely to experience complications during pregnancy and childbirth compared to our white counterparts? Black women are also six times more likely to suffer from pre-eclampsia, which is a serious complication causing high blood pressure. These are staggering statistics.

There are many different aspects that contribute to some of these inequalities, including bias and discrimination within healthcare institutions, socioeconomic differences, inadequate access to quality care, and cultural barriers that can hinder communication and access to support. It is becoming more and more apparent that Black women in the UK are disproportionately affected and I have to keep reminding myself that it’s not Black women’s bodies that are the problem, it is the overall issue that white bodies are seen as the norm.

In the workplace, Black mothers often face additional challenges around a general lack of support, understanding policies, and limited access to necessary healthcare resources. These obstacles not only impact our health and wellbeing but also could impact professional development and stability.

Racism directly impacts our systems by a lack of understanding of our various cultural needs. Some clear examples of this can be seen in some of my own interactions with midwives, nurses and doctors both recently and in the past. It’s only over the past few years that I’ve realised some of the cultural barriers I’ve faced have easily manifested into stereotyping, microaggressions and overall systemic racism. Some of these issues are evident in areas such as being denied pain relief, misdiagnosis of certain conditions such as jaundice seen in newborns and general dehumanisation. I think there are a lot of wider issues within the UK that all feed into some of the issues concerning Black maternal health.

The shocking statistics showcase the critical need for systemic change and increased awareness. By amplifying the voices of our Black staff, we can work towards a workplace where mothers can thrive. As EDI Engagement Lead, I’m committed to advocating for our Black staff and mothers within the workplace who might be facing challenges related to Black maternal health disparities. I am excited to announce that I will be holding a Black Maternal Health Forum to provide much needed support and resources for Black mothers.

You can use work time to attend this forum meeting, which will be held on Monday 17th June at 11:00. You can find the link on the staff area, or send an email to



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