The U.S. maternal health crisis is a social justice, clinical and economic issue with BIPOC women facing the greatest risk in communities across America.
As a continuation of its strong commitment to community service, Friendship Missionary Baptist Church (FMBC) has become the first faith-based organization to offer LunaYou, a personalized maternal wellbeing platform focused on empowering women to improve their own and each other’s maternal health, to its members and to the local Vallejo community. LunaYou and FMBC recognize that this is a critical time to provide access to maternal wellbeing support in the community and are starting with a pilot to enroll and empower 40 LunaYou Mamas and to establish and strengthen the community connections and support necessary to expand and sustain the program.
Friendship (FMBC), one of the largest churches in Vallejo, CA, offers a unique ability to reach, engage and empower BIPOC pregnant women throughout Vallejo to improve maternal health and wellbeing and to help address the maternal health crisis plaguing black and brown communities across the country. Addressing maternal health is a continuation of Friendship’s important service work through its Community Development Center, New Dawn. Together with LunaYou, FMBC will help BIPOC women in Northern California find their voice and empower them to feel confident in birth and beyond. FMBC will lead the pilot outreach effort to enroll local community members in LunaYou and has proudly contributed to ensure that women participating in the pilot can access every component of LunaYou free of charge throughout pregnancy.
“Care and access to wellbeing resources, like LunaYou, is at the core of what we consider liberation at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church. For Black and Brown women to have a space to be heard and be empowered to improve wellbeing is a wonderful opportunity for our community”
Rev. Dr. Justin Lester, Pastor of Friendship Baptist Church
LunaYou supports and empowers women throughout pregnancy and for three months postpartum. LunaYou provides access on the platform to live wellbeing coaching throughout the pregnancy journey. The LunaYou platform enables women to easily understand, track and improve her own wellbeing indicators including blood pressure, sleep, and physical activity. LunaYou Mamas are encouraged to keep a private personal journal and to prepare for upcoming doctor visits. Women also participate in the LunaYou Mamas Forum, a trusted online community, to share personal pregnancy experiences, learn from each other and experts and to support each other’s wellbeing.
In early March, the CDC released the United States’ maternal mortality statistics for 2020, and the results were alarming. In 2020, the U.S. maternal mortality rate was 23.8 deaths per 100,000 live births, with 861 known deaths due to maternal causes. Black women are three times more likely to die in childbirth than white women, and Hispanic women saw the largest increase in mortality rate (44%) over a one year period. Additionally, LunaYou has found:
- Maternal mortality rates, or the rate of maternal deaths per 100,000 live births, are higher in the United States than any other high income nation.
- Today, U.S. women are 50% more likely to die or experience a serious complication in childbirth than their mothers.
- Women on Medicaid are 82% more likely to develop life threatening complications than women who are privately insured.
- 38% of women of color suffer from postpartum depression compared to 16% of white women.
Saul Kaplan, Founder and CEO of LunaYou says “The recent stats around the maternity health crisis in America are reason enough for LunaYou to provide BIPOC women with the tools and support they need to improve their pregnancy journey and wellbeing. Pregnancy isn’t a disease, we shouldn’t treat it like one. LunaYou is excited to collaborate with FMBC and Vallejo to provide women throughout the community with a personalized maternal wellbeing solution designed to empower women directly to improve maternal health outcomes.”
To connect, learn more and support LunaYou to end the maternal health crisis in America, starting with BIPOC women at the highest risk please visit www.lunayou.com for more information.