Whether it’s your first time or third time having a baby, it can be a stressful process. What should be a happy occasion for a family can quickly become dangerous for Black women when you consider the maternal health disparities for Black mothers.

In 2020, the CDC reported that Black women are 2.5 times more likely to die giving birth in comparison to white women. In hopes of helping to close the racial disparities in maternal health, Baby Dove has partnered with the Black Mamas Matter Alliance (BMMA), an organization led by Black women with the mission of centering and advocating for Black mothers in the maternal health space.

Dubbed the Black Birth Equity Fund, Baby Dove has committed $250,000 throughout the end of the year to support Black mothers with financial assistance to secure a doula. A doula is an individual who’s sole focus is on the well being of the mother. A doula serves as an advocate to mothers during and after their pregnancy.

The fund will provide a one-time grant for expectant Black mothers.

“We aim to distribute grants up to $1,300 to more than 190 Black expecting mothers within the first six months and we’ll continue to evaluate as we move forward,” says Sally Brown, Global Brand Director of Baby Dove.

Angela D. Aina, co-founding executive director at BBMA reveals, “The costs of doula services can depend on location, level of support needed, and other factors, but can typically range from about $600 to $2,000-plus.”

Motherhood is expensive and this grant will help ease the financial stress of care and focus for the mother, in a process where the baby is normally centered. In addition to the $250K donation, Baby Dove created a limited-edition gift set for $17.97 with 100% of the proceeds going toward the new fund.

The gift set is the new Baby Dove Melanin-Rich Skin and Curl Nourishment Collection, including a range of skin and hair products designed specifically for Black babies. Baby Dove collaborated with illustrator Keturah Ariel Nailah Bobo on the art for the set. If you want to support the Black Birth Equity Fund (or just keep your baby’s skin soft and curls poppin’), you can purchase the set nationwide at Walmart and Walmart.com.

In an interview with theGrio, Aina expressed the importance of brands taking a financial stance in racial injustice.

“Over the past year, we saw several companies taking a public stance for racial and social justice,” she explained. “However, it is important that companies follow through with that public support with meaningful investment and resources to the issues firsthand to help create change on the individual and structural levels. With such support from global brands like Baby Dove, we will be able to continue raising awareness on the critical issues of Black maternal mortality, while promoting advocacy to better support Black maternal health and rights.”

The impact of a doula can be life saving for a mother. Research shows that with the support of a doula, moms are two times less likely to experience birth complications, four times less likely to have a low-birth-weight baby and are more likely to experience overall positive health outcomes during the birthing journey.

If you or someone you know would benefit from this fund, apply here. The application process will take less than 20 minutes and the requirements are simply to a Black mother in your first to third trimester at the time of application submission, reside in the United States, and be seeking doula services (you can’t use the money for anything else).

While the initial application window lasts until the end of 2021, Brown says that Baby Dove will “evaluate the reach and outcomes prior to the window closing in order to determine potential extensions, and ways to continue direct support to Black birthing individuals and issues surrounding Black maternal health.”

Story & Photo Credit: Danielle James/thegrio