Mount Eden hosts Black Maternal Health Expo, highlighting importance of fatherhood
The Office of Public Advocate Jumaane Williams held a Black Maternal Health Expo Saturday, drawing mothers, fathers, and expecting parents to the Latino Pastoral Action Center in Mount Eden.
A three-panel discussion took place at the event that offered education for the entire family. One of these discussions, which Williams himself participated in, centered on the importance of fatherhood and the vital role a father plays in the birth and identity formation of their child.
The expo was a collaborative effort involving the Office of the Public Advocate, Bronx Borough President Vanessa Gibson, and community partners. Its purpose was to provide educational resources for a healthy pregnancy and post-birth period.
"We have really bad birthing outcomes compared to other birthing outcomes in communities, and the only way we can change that is to really push out information, get the information out," Williams said. "The adverse birthing outcomes are shown, regardless of social economic status. The only thing that differs is the race, and that's something that shouldn't be tolerated."
Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that the mortality rate for pregnant non-Hispanic Black women is nearly three times the rate for non-Hispanic white woman.
In New York, the Department of Health and Hygiene showed that the Bronx had the second highest rate of pregnancy related deaths in 2018. Father and event panelist Bruce Mcintyre III knows the heartache all too well.
"April 2020, I lost my fiancé Amber Rose Isac due to medical negligence throughout her entire pregnancy," Mcintyre said. He now dedicates his life to expand access to birth equity. He spoke on the panel about the importance a father's role plays in pregnancy.
"Whenever women get pregnant, it's not just about the woman becoming pregnant. It becomes about the family structure and the family dynamic," Mcintyre added.
While many events like this often focus on motherhood, this expo broke the mold by also putting the spotlight on fathers, emphasizing their crucial role in childrearing.
Those who missed Saturday's expo need not worry. Plans for another Black Maternal Health Expo are already in motion, promising further opportunities for the community to learn and engage with important topics surrounding parenthood.