Three Black-Founded Maternal Healthcare Businesses That Help Combat the Maternal Mortality Crisis

Three Black-Founded Maternal Healthcare Businesses That Help Combat the Maternal Mortality Crisis

This week is an opportunity to continue advocating for Black mamas everywhere.

It is Black Maternal Health Week. What began on Tuesday, Apr 11, is an annual campaign founded and led by the Black Mamas Matter Alliance to help restore Black autonomy and joy.

In light of the steady rise of maternal mortality in the U.S. among Black women and amid growing cases of clear neglect in pregnancy, labor and delivery care in hospital systems, the Alliance reminds us that “our bodies belong to us.”

“We need people that look like us to advocate for us and support us,” said Alexis Grantham, a Detroit-based doula, per CBS News. “Black women are dying more than any other race when it comes to childbirth and even postpartum.”

The maternal death rate among Black women in the US is reportedly one of the highest among industrialized nations and has nearly doubled between 2018 and 2021. According to the CDC, Black women are three times more likely to die from a pregnancy-related cause than white women.

With that said, BMHW is intentionally held during National Minority Health Month to ​“build awareness, activism, and community-building” and​ to “amplify ​the voices, perspectives, and lived experiences of Black Mamas and birthing people.”


Black-founded maternal healthcare company, Mahmee is revolutionizing maternal and child healthcare while tackling its mission of eliminating the maternal health crisis (particularly for Black and Indigenous women). What started as a software-as-a-service platform has since evolved into a vision for a nationwide workforce of providers that can deliver personalized maternity care at scale.

With more than 80% of pregnancy-related deaths in the U.S. being preventable, CEO and founder Melissa Hanna built Mahmee to be a wraparound company that supports parents from initial pregnancy to the first few years of birth. The company also aims to address inequities in maternal healthcare, focusing first on new digital tools that could help the industry reduce adverse outcomes.

For $149 a month, a Mahmee membership includes access to six services, including registered nurses, lactation consultants, doula care, mental health coaching, nutrition practices, and care coordination.

To date, 19,000 new and expecting parents have turned to Mahmee’s platform– nearly half of whom identify as Black women.


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Doula in the City

“Helping mothers to affirm themselves, DITC is a place to call home. We speak life into ourselves, each other, and our innate abilities as mothers,” according to Doula in the City.

Detroit-based and DONA-trained doula Alexis Grantham founded Doula in the City in December 2021. Despite her own path of life-threatening pregnancies, loss, and even illness, she has turned her pain into a passion for bringing light to maternal rights. The team offers an inclusive pregnancy, birthing, and postpartum experience that aims to further enrich women’s lives.

From virtual doula support to various doula birthing packages, Doula in the City leans on Grantham’s rare expertise in maternal advocacy and unconventional methodology. She is a mother of three and a clinical social worker.

Chicago South Side Birth Center

The lack of supportive birthing options available to pregnant Black women and people on the South Side has forced them to go to great lengths to seek adequate prenatal care. This disparity has created what the Chicago Tribune has called a birthing desert.

Currently in development, the Chicago South Side Birth Center will be a safe haven for mothers and expecting mothers to receive abundance in whole health. The center anticipates rising as a non-profit startup and independent, Black midwife-led Birth Center on the South Side of Chicago.

As a Leader in Residence at Chicago Beyond, birth equity champion Jeanine Valrie Logan received funding and professional support to successfully launch the Chicago South Side Birth Center. Logan’s new mission aligns with her influence in pushing through Illinois House Bill 738 to expand access to birth centers across Chicago.

The team will comprise highly qualified professionals, including midwives, nurses, a physician collaborator, pediatrics, nutrition, social work, childbirth and parenting doulas, and educators. Together, they will offer a low-risk option for birth and a mixed-risk option for reproductive healthcare for people in their neighborhood and community.

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