Library Teams Up with Cradle Cincinnati Connections for Black Maternity Matters Series

Written by Alli Jacobs, Teen Librarian, Walnut Hills Branch Library

Attention Black mamas and moms-to-be! Join the Cincinnati and Hamilton County Public Library and Cradle Cincinnati Connections for Black Maternity Matters, a series of dynamic interactive events especially for Black mothers who are expecting or have a baby. These monthly Zoom events are an interactive way for you to get the most up-to-date information from caring local experts about the physical and mental health challenges for moms-to-be and caring for their little ones.  

Combatting Medical Racism & Inequity 

According to the Centers for Disease Control, Black women in America are three to four times more likely to die from complications during pregnancy than white women. The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health sites lack of access to healthcare and poor quality of care as two reasons that maternal mortality significantly affects Black women. These factors all play into what is known as medical racism. Dr. Ana Langer, HSPH Director, said, "Basically, Black women are undervalued. They are not monitored as carefully as white women are. When they do present with symptoms, they are often dismissed.”  

According to Cradle Cincinnati, an organization that serves mothers and mothers-to-be, the numbers in our area are just as distressing, “In Hamilton County, 8.98 babies died for every 1,000 who were born from 2013-2017.” This means that Hamilton County falls among the worst 10 percent of infant deaths in the country. Through education and support of mothers and mothers-to-be, Cradle Cincinnati hopes to dramatically decrease pre-term birth and infant mortality.” We’re honored to help with that mission.  

Series Starts Soon! 

From the beginning of your pregnancy through coming home with your new baby can be an intimidating time with lots of questions. We’ve got you. Let the experts provide helpful information all about your pregnancy and caring for your baby. Included in the series is the opportunity for you to receive some truly great prizes from Cradle Cincinnati Connections and CHPL. For participating you may receive the following great items for new parents: a nursing bra, a portable play pen, or a book about healthy pregnancy. 

  • 6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 20: Breastfeeding in the Black Community—Benefits of Nursing on Mom, Baby & Community 

Breastfeeding can give babies the best possible start in life, but it isn’t always easy. Join us as we discuss the benefits of breastfeeding for moms and babies, how families can support nursing moms, and local resources that can help women reach their breastfeeding goals. 

 Speaker: Brandi Rahim, CLC, MSW, LSW, with Cradle Cincinnati Connections 

  • 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 10: Keeping Your Baby Safe During Their First Year of Life—Infant CPR and Safe Sleep 

Learn how to keep your baby safe and healthy by joining us for a virtual safe sleep and infant CPR training. Mothers and moms-to-be receive an at-home infant CPR kit, a portable crib, and other essential infant sleep items. 

Speakers: Patrice Pennington, director, and Jessica Seeberger, senior program specialist, Cradle Cincinnati Connections 

  • 6 p.m. Wed., March 10: Eating for You 

“Eating healthy” doesn’t look the same for everyone, and that’s okay. Our health connects to our individual genetic makeup, our culture, our environment, and our life circumstances. Join us to discover what eating healthy means to you and how to identify it. 

Speaker: Sophia Bosse, registered dietitian, Cradle Cincinnati Connections (and possible guest-working out the details). 

  • 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 14: Black Maternal Health Kitchen Table Talk 

Black women are three to four times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white women in the U.S., a trend that we also see in Hamilton County. Join a panel of local maternal health experts as we discuss how to advocate for yourself in the hospital and at your doctor’s office; warning signs to look out for; and local resources to support you before, during, and after birth. 

Panel: Christine Moore, WHNP-BC, with University of Cincinnati; Sesheta Tafari, holistic doula, childbirth educator; Josselyn Okorodudu, program manager at Cradle Cincinnati Connections 

  • 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 12: Exploring Mental Health Stigmas in the Black Community 

Mental wellness and its impact on overall health are not talked about enough in the Black community. Join us as we explore how to have productive conversations around mental health as well as learn how to develop the skills needed to cope with stressful times in our lives. 

Speaker: Brandi Rahim, CLC, MSW, LSW, Cradle Cincinnati Connections 

To register for an event, please visit Eventbrite, opens a new window.  

Follow the series on Facebook and for more information, please contact Cradle Cincinnati Connections at 513-803-4822 or