Announcing “Maternal Health: A Community of Advocacy and Transformation.”

April 5, 2023

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Bianca Bowles 
Social Media and Community Relations Specialist 
Email: Bbowles@caanh.net, Ph: (203) 387-7700, ext. 192 

NEW HAVEN, CT (April , 2023) – The Community Action Agency of New Haven, Inc. (CAANH), a non-profit and social service agency in Greater New Haven, announces an initiative with community partners; New Haven Healthy Start, The National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc. New Haven Metropolitan Chapter (NCBW), New Haven Chapter of the Links Incorporated, and DHJ Services for “Maternal Health: A Community of Advocacy and Transformation.”

According to the CDC in 2021 over 80% of maternal deaths in the United States are preventable. To prevent these tragic deaths, which are occurring at increasing rates, this group has announced a Maternal Health campaign to improve overall maternal health outcomes in Greater New Haven. Among all infants, in 2019, Black infants had a significantly lower rate of exclusive breastfeeding at age three (3) months (36.3%) than did White infants (49%); at age six (6) months, the rates of any breastfeeding were 44% among Black infants and 59.9.% among White infants.

During Black Maternal Health Week (April 11-17, 2023) and up until Black Breastfeeding Week (August 25-31, 2023), our goal is to increase the number of businesses and organizations statewide as Breastfeeding Friendly Worksites, raise awareness of the breastfeeding laws in CT, as well, as an advocate for breastfeeding policies in the workplace. In addition, we will provide the tools and support they may need to become recognized and certified by the State of Connecticut’s Breastfeeding Coalition. Of our 169 towns, there are currently 67 businesses and organizations that are recognized as Breastfeeding Friendly Worksites. Our goal is to increase that number by 33 % to 100 businesses being recognized.

Please join this collaboration on April 10th at CAANH, Inc., 419 Whalley Avenue, New Haven, CT, for a Noon Press Conference. “Strengthening our focus on infant and maternal health is critical now more than ever,” says Deputy Director and Vice President of Human Resources Jenell Lawson. This collaboration of five organizations that strives to make changes will continue to raise awareness of maternal mortality as most cases are highly preventable. Indigenous and black individuals are two and three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes that have only worsened due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We must take urgent action to address this growing crisis and alarming disparities in our community.

The Maternal Health: A Community of Collaboration & Advocacy will build upon New Haven Healthy Start’s work to eliminate health disparities and improve birth outcomes by advocating with healthcare providers, stakeholders, community partners, and legislators across the state.

Community Action Agency of New Haven (CAANH) deemed an official Breast/chest-feeding Friendly Worksite by the CT Breastfeeding Coalition was established in 1978. For more information on this or other services, please call 203-387-7700, or go to http://www.caanh.net.