At The Root, we’ve dedicated plenty of coverage to the racial disparities in maternal health. Black mothers in America are three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related issues than other women, even though 60 percent of all maternal deaths are preventable. Leading diaper brand Pampers wants to do its part to support Black moms by committing $250,000 over the next year to address the systemic issues preventing them from receiving equitable health care. And they are partnering with Olympic Gold medalist Allyson Felix to help raise awareness of the crisis impacting Black moms.
The issue of Black maternal health is personal to the Olympian. Felix was diagnosed with severe preeclampsia at week 32 of her pregnancy, a complication that can have life-threatening consequences. With elevated protein levels in her urine and high blood pressure, she was admitted to the hospital for an emergency C-section. The diagnosis was shocking to the world-class athlete and went completely against her birth plan.
“Black maternal health is a cause that is very close to me for so many reasons. After experiencing some of the scariest days of my life giving birth to my own daughter and realizing I’m not alone, that really pushed me to want to advocate for other moms so they can experience the pure joy that comes with being a parent,” Felix said. “You can’t change anything with silence, so I’m proud to partner with Pampers to support their commitment to addressing the maternal health disparity.”
A key component of Pampers’ initiative is a $100,000 partnership with the National Birth Equity Collaborative to improve the quality of care Black mothers receive and decrease maternal mortality in our communities.
“Through this initiative, we will be able to support the expansion of our Birth Equity Trainings, educating clinicians and healthcare practitioners to shift towards a culture of antiracist practices,” said Inas Mahdi, Vice President of Training, Practice and Evaluation at the National Birth Equity Collaborative.
Pampers has also developed a way for others to support their effort. For every share of their #RaiseCareDeliverJoy video on Instagram during the month of June, the company will donate an additional dollar to the NBEC, up to $10,000.
Melissa Aceves, Senior Brand Director and Equity & Inclusion lead for Pampers at Procter & Gamble said, “Knowing the systemic issues affecting Black moms in America today means we have no choice but to continue to act. We are determined to keep fighting for better outcomes and lower maternal mortality rates. Because only when we raise the quality of care will we be able to deliver more joy.”
As part of its ongoing efforts, Pampers will also work with the March of Dimes to expand bias training for healthcare professionals and continue to build strategic partnerships with other leading organizations in the field.