NBPP is Bridging the Gap: The Vital Role of Culturally Competent BIPOC Birth Workers in Tackling the Black Maternal Health Crisis


The Black maternal health crisis in the United States has laid bare the urgent need for transformative measures. One crucial aspect that demands attention is the importance of training BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) birth workers. In this blog post, we delve into why National Birth & Postpartum Professionals (NBPP) is fostering cultural competence among BIPOC birth workers. This priority is not just desirable, but absolutely essential in forging connections and mitigating the risks faced by BIPOC families in the throes of the crisis.

The Alarming Disparities

The statistics surrounding the Black maternal health crisis are stark. They reveal a deeply ingrained system of disparities that disproportionately affects BIPOC communities. In particular, Black mothers face higher rates of maternal mortality and near-death experiences during childbirth which points to systemic issues of bias (internalized and external) that demand targeted solutions.

Our 'Why' NBPP's Cultural Competence Priority

  1. Building Trust: BIPOC families often harbor mistrust due to historical injustices and systemic biases within the healthcare system. Culturally competent birth workers can help bridge this trust gap by understanding and respecting the unique cultural backgrounds and experiences of the families they serve.

  2. Effective Communication: Language and communication styles vary across cultures. BIPOC birth workers, armed with cultural competence, can communicate effectively, ensuring that vital information is conveyed in a way that resonates with the families, promoting better understanding and collaboration.

  3. Navigating Systemic Barriers: BIPOC birth workers are better equipped to navigate the systemic barriers that often impede access to quality healthcare for marginalized communities. They can act as advocates, helping families overcome obstacles and ensuring they receive the care they deserve.

  4. Empowering Through Representation: The mere presence of BIPOC birth workers within the healthcare system is empowering for families. Representation matters, and having professionals who share similar cultural backgrounds fosters a sense of understanding, validation, and connection for families during their maternal health journey.

  5. Culturally Tailored Support: BIPOC birth workers can provide culturally tailored support that goes beyond medical care. This includes understanding and respecting cultural traditions, practices, and preferences, creating a more holistic and supportive birthing experience.


In the fight against the Black maternal health crisis, National Birth & Postpartum Professionals' training and elevation of BIPOC birth workers will stand out as a critical intervention. Cultural competence not only breaks down barriers, but it also fosters trust and understanding that creates a pathway to improved outcomes for BIPOC families. As the professional members of NBPP navigate these complex issues, it is imperative that we all recognize and prioritize the role of culturally competent birth workers in reshaping the landscape of maternal healthcare, ensuring that no family is left behind in the pursuit of safe and equitable childbirth experiences.

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National Birth & Postpartum Professionals (NBPP) is a growing organization for perinatal health professionals to network, gain continuing education, and advocate for change within the birthing and postpartum systems in America.  To grow with us, sign up today!