Northwestern Medicine will host educational open house for Black Maternal Health Week 2024

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Monday, April 15, 2024
Northwestern Medicine hosts event for Black Maternal Health Week
Dr. Jacqueline Hairston joined to discuss Prentice Women's Hospital's educational event focused on pregnancy, birth and the alarming statistics Black women face Wednesday.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Black Maternal Health Week is April 11-17 nationwide.

According to the White House, Black women are three times more likely to face health risks during pregnancy than other races.

There are efforts being made to change these statistics.

Dr. Jacqueline Hairston, a maternal fetal medicine specialist at Northwestern Medicine, joined ABC7 Chicago Monday to talk about why Black Maternal Health Week is important.

"April is National Minority Health Month, and, in honor of that, the organization Black Mamas Matter started Black Maternal Health Week to not only bring to the forefront the alarming statistics that we really need to change, but also to celebrate the organizations that are doing something about it," she said.

Hairston said Black women often face health risks, like high blood pressure and fibroids, that can affect delivery.

SEE ALSO: Black Maternal Health Week raises awareness of Black women's maternal mortality rate in US

Northwestern Medicine uses education to help women understand their circumstances during pregnancy and birth.

The hospital is hosting an education session and open house for expectant mothers Wednesday from 5 to 7:30 p.m. at Prentice Women's Hospital.

"What we're doing is having our doctors, our nurses, our midwives coming to discuss the hot topics that Black women have brought to us," Hairston said.

The event will include tours of the hospitals' labor and delivery floors, meet and greets with Northwestern obstetrics and gynecology clinicians, and discussions about pregnancy myths with professionals.

Hairston said the event is open to all birthing people, including those who are facing infertility and postpartum mothers. Attendees do not have to be Northwestern Medicine patients. Registration is required at

Northwestern Medicine is also sponsoring EverThrive, Illinois' Community Baby Shower. They are collecting new packs of baby wipes, digital baby thermometers and monetary donations until Wednesday. Drop off locations and times can be found here.