Black Maternal Mental Health Week was launched by The Motherhood Group to raise awareness, highlight disparities, provide resources, and break cultural barriers in maternal mental health for Black mothers and birthing people. The theme for this year is ‘equity in Black women’s maternal mental health journey’.

Why we’re supporting Black Maternal Mental Health Week

Depression and anxiety among new and expectant mums is higher than you might think - about 1 in 10 parents experience depression after their baby is born.

Recent evidence indicates that women from ethnic minorities may experience more mental health issues, and one of the key factors is the lack of services accessed by Black, Asian and other minority women to support their mental health and wellbeing.

Some of the key factors to consider are:

  • Lack of awareness about mental ill health
  • Cultural expectations and ongoing stigma within communities
  • Limited culturally informed health services and lack of representation, knowledge and education within the healthcare system

Women from Black and minority ethnic groups tend to have poorer mental health than their white counterparts, due to a combination of factors including discrimination, social isolation, deprivation and migration, with low levels of support and treatment. These factors can combine to create a system that may fail to acknowledge and understand the challenges experienced by Black mothers to ensure appropriate support is available for all.

How Best Beginnings is supporting Black Maternal Mental Health Week

We have created eight mental health and wellbeing films, made in collaboration with Nina Malone from Dope Black Mums, psychologist Dr Orinayo Onabanjo, and mums Ifeoma, Nadia and Nicky. All films are available within our Baby Buddy app and YouTube channel and cover themes of mental health and broader health and wellbeing. We’ve developed a film on each of the following topics:

Mental health stigma

  • When to ask for help
  • Coping strategies
  • Family expectations and support

Comparing yourself to others

  • Feelings of guilt and shame
  • Is social media your friend or foe?

Heath & wellbeing hacks

  • Healthy eating
  • Self-care
  • Fitness

Who is Black Maternal Mental Health Week for?  

Black Maternal Mental Health Week is not just for Black women, it's also for allies, healthcare service providers and employees to participate in.

The focus is on health and care services to facilitate change within their networks – to review and make improvements to any existing practices and policies and promote equity in maternal mental health.

How you can support Black Maternal Mental Health Week             

There are lots of ways you can get involved:

  • Hold vital conversations and discussions regarding Black maternal mental health, both online and offline
  • Share Black Maternal Mental Health Week content on social media, or create your own - use the hashtag #BMMHW22
  • Take part in activities and projects that will prioritise Black maternal mental health
  • Share and support Black maternal mental health providers or create resources based on research to support Black mothers
  • Acknowledge and address your own biases
  • Proactively re-assess your organisation’s practices and highlight where your policies require further development in order to support Black mothers and their mental health. If you’re part of an organisation you can take part in training provided by The Motherhood Group

Importantly, we all need to listen to and support Black mothers beyond Black Maternal Mental Health Week too. Only through learning, growing and continually developing together are we able to facilitate better outcomes for all Black mothers.      


Catherine's experience of using Baby Buddy

“I’m a Nigerian mum with a 6-month-old baby daughter. I’ve been living in England for 4 years. I heard about the Baby Buddy app through my health visitor, and I’ve been using it since my baby was born. I find it educational and really helpful, and I use it every day. My health visitor originally told me about Baby Buddy because I was struggling to get my baby to sleep in her cot and she kept crying. The health visitor pointed me to the content in the app about managing crying. I watched a video and took my baby for a drive, which was suggested in the video, and this really helped to calm her down and help her get to sleep. I really like the daily information in Baby Buddy letting me know what I can expect as my baby develops, and I also like the fact that I can put in her ‘firsts’ and her development records such as her weight.” 

“I work in mental health, and I find the mental health content in Baby Buddy appropriate and useful for parents. I had support from work colleagues who were truly wonderful with bringing me essentials when I had my baby. My husband was super supportive too. Other than that, I don’t have a large support network around me. I felt quite alone when my husband went back to work after paternity leave - I didn’t have support in the house with day-to-day things and I also didn’t have anyone to speak to about my feelings. I found the app really helpful then – I could read lots and understand about my baby’s development which helped me to feel better. I have a friend in Nigeria who had a baby at the same time as me and contacts me regularly for advice because she knows I’m a nurse. I often send her links to videos in Baby Buddy and screenshots which she finds really helpful. I like that I can share the content with her.”   

Catherine, 36, Milton Keynes