Researchers call the United States the most-dangerous developed country to give birth. About 700 women die each year in the U.S. as a result of pregnancy or delivery complications. One in three maternal deaths is preventable.
Since 2018, over 21,000 infants have died each year in their first year of life. The leading causes of infant mortality are birth defects, preterm birth, injuries, sudden infant death syndrome, and pregnancy complications. The amount of infant deaths is much higher if miscarriages are factored in. For known pregnancies, 11-16% of pregnancies end in a spontaneous loss of the pregnancy before the 20th week. Most miscarriages occur because the fetus is not developing as anticipated.
With such high numbers of miscarriages, infant deaths, and maternal deaths one might assume that these issues are well known among women. However, many women report an unawareness of the issues and the available resources for grieving families.
Losing a baby or spouse due to pregnancy or delivery complications is tragic. For Black families, the pain of losing a loved one can be exacerbated by systemic racism, prejudices, implicit bias, microaggressions, and other forms of oppression.
A National Institute of Health-funded study found that Black women are three times more likely to die than White women from a pregnancy-related cause. Maternal death disparities were concentrated in postpartum cardiomyopathy (heart muscle disease) and preeclampsia and eclampsia. The mortality rate for Black women was five times higher than White women in postpartum cardiomyopathy and preeclampsia and eclampsia.
Black infants are two to three times more likely to die than White infants in their first year of life.
We believe in equitable maternal care and timely support
services for grieving families.
Shades of Becoming a Mom (SBMOM) is a Christian, non-profit organization that is dedicated to the health and wellness of women at every stage of motherhood. We provide resources, guidance, and support primarily to Black women grieving the loss of a baby in pregnancy or infancy. We serve to alleviate cultural barriers experienced by Black women during pregnancy, after delivery, and throughout the grief process. Our active presence in the local community and partnerships with medical professionals helps to improve maternal health outcomes for women and babies.
SBMOM acknowledges and affirms all women who have experienced the loss of a child through miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal death, sudden infant death syndrome, or infancy.
Every woman receives culturally competent and equitable maternal health care. Families who experience infant loss or maternal loss have access to timely and affordable support.