It's July! Catch up with PTBi

We’ve had over 1,500 people attend our 4 Collaboratories this year, 6 new publications, and so many partnerships built and fostered. Here's a recap of what we have been able to achieve together:

  • In January, we teamed up with Community Engagement Research Incubator and Strategy Hub (CERISH) for a Collaboratory on supporting COVID-19 positive pregnant people and parents. Investigators from the PRIORITY-VOICE study, Helen Arega and Dr. Brittany Chambers presented, followed by a panel who answered questions about on-the-ground challenges and solutions to improving the BIPOC birthing experience. Click here to view the recording.
  • We know that the risk for people on Medi-Cal to experience the dual burden of severe maternal morbidity and preterm birth is 20% higher than those privately insured; for the uninsured, the risk is 30% greater. In January, we published new findings that described the socioeconomic nuances of this statistic and while we didn’t see a significant difference across race, education, or age, we found that within insurance types those who were uninsured or on Medi-Cal had elevated rates of preexisting hypertension and experienced c-sections more than those who were privately insured. This suggests that the quality of care may differ depending on the person’s insurance type.
  • In celebration of Black History Month, the Voices for Birth Justice Instagram honored doulas and midwives — and held not one, but three Instagram Lives. Watch Doulas 101Black Breast/Chestfeeding: We Got Milk, and So you want to be a doula? on our Instagram by clicking the links. 
  • In April, we attended a San Francisco hearing on housing access for BIPOC pregnant people. Check out our TikTok recap and the policy brief
  • For Black Maternal Health Week, we were blessed to have our friend and mentor Dante King share readings and insights from his book, “The 400 Year Holocaust: White America's Legal, Psychopathic, and Sociopathic Black Genocide.” We invited Black moms who have worked with Dante to share how they navigate an inherently anti-Black society while building healthy and thriving lives for themselves, their children, and their families. Click here to view the recording.
  • In May, our former fellow Dr. Bridgette Blebu presented on the EMBRACE study and brought together a panel of experts in implementation science. Despite implementation research’s focus on eliminating disparities, researchers are urging a renewed focus on equity in ways that grapple with the conditions in which programs and interventions are implemented. Click here to view the recording.
  • In the mid May, we held a Rally for Birth Justice in collaboration with First 5 Center for Children's Policy, where we unveiled our report "Road to Black Birth Justice in California," which details the experiences of Black families and our recommendations moving forward. Catch the recap here and learn how you can get involved. 
  • At the very end of May, we were thrilled to launch Voices for Birth Justice Fresno. In partnership with Fresno County’s Perinatal Equity Initiative, the campaign will raise awareness of the racial inequities in infant mortality in Fresno County. You can read our first story, Shantanya Nunn's, online here.
  • At the start of June, we hosted our first-ever Hackathon with Twilio. Hackers for Birth Justice was a successful event where tech and birth equity met to improve Black infant and maternal health outcomes. The event fully brought to life what we imagined we could achieve when tech experts and mothers with lived experience collaborate in a creative and innovative space to develop solutions to combat challenges burdening Black mamas and babies. Read the recap here.
  • As our Benioff Community Innovators Oakland wrap up their projects, we were fortunate to hear them present on their findings, recommendations, and feedback. In the coming months, they will present to policymakers and stakeholders.
  • We teamed up with Expecting Justice to host a block party at the Bayview YMCA. “Black and Beautiful: A Family Reunion” was a joyous celebration of Black families in San Francisco that had food, waistbeads, haircuts, and more.
  • Finally, at the end of June, we held a Collaboratory in partnership with Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. (Delta Zeta Omega Chapter) about Black fertility by sharing stories, myths, and resources from community providers. Click here to view the recording. 

We have so much ahead of us as we continue our work to advance Black birth justice and anti-racism. Our work is more important than ever — last year, we found that racial disparities in C-section rates are persist, that Black and Brown preterm babies were more likely to be readmitted and experience worse outcomes in their first year of life, and that COVID-19 increases the risk of preterm birth.

Looking back at the first half of the year, we are in awe and so grateful for all the work that we have been able to achieve together as a community.

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