Black fathers and infant health: New initiative launched

A local group and researchers are working to better figure out how men can help women and babies during the pregnancy process and beyond, with the goal of uplifting men and saving lives. 

In a news conference Friday morning, June 18, leaders announced the launch of a new initiative called "Black Fathers, Equal Partners in Advancing Maternal and Infant Health."

"The primary goal of this initiative is to provide safe spaces and lift the voices of Black and expecting dads so that we can center fathers in our commitment to end maternal-infant mortality and morbidity," said Dalvery Blackwell.

Experts say Black infant mortality in Wisconsin is higher than any other state, and maternal mortality is five times higher among Black women than white women in Wisconsin. 

Black fathers and infant health

The project is also focused on better understanding how fathers can be a part of improving the health and well-being of mothers and babies.  

"The important role of fathers starts even before the baby arrives, when fathers are involved during pregnancy. When pregnant women are supported partners during pregnancy, we see improved maternal and child health outcomes," said Blackwell.

This is all part of a 12-month study with the UW-Madison Institute for Clinical and Translational Research.

"We’ll take our findings, data and we’ll implement that into a specific program," said Brooks Griffin.

This project is a partnership between the African-American Breastfeeding Network and UW-Madison. 

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