Stormont Vail Health is committed to increasing education, advocacy, and support for Black Maternal Health and Mortality. For this reason, we're launching an initiative to encourage expectant mothers to:

  1. Learn the urgent maternal warning signs.
  2. Connect with health and social support systems before, during, and after pregnancy.
  3. Talk to a healthcare provider and seek immediate care if something feels off or causes concern.

Disparities in black maternal health persist due to numerous factors like variations in healthcare, implicit bias, or social determinants of health that hinder just opportunities for overall wellbeing.

We recognize the monumental work ahead, but all mothers and children deserve just opportunities for health and happiness. Stormont Vail will stand resolute in our dedication to supporting the health of black mothers as long as it takes to achieve our goal.


Read stories from local moms and learn about their lessons, challenges, and victories along their journey to motherhood.

12 Steps for Safe Sleep

Practice these 12 steps for the first 12 months for every sleep:

Place your baby on their back.

Lay your baby on a firm, flat mattress in a safe-sleep-approved crib, bassinet, or pack-and-play.

Breastfeed your baby for at least the first two months (ideally, six to 12 months) to reduce the risk of death.

Place your baby in a separate, safe sleep space when room sharing for at least the first six months.

Remove everything from your baby's safe sleep space except a tightly fitted sheet and pacifier.

Use a pacifier at naptime and nighttime to reduce the risk of death by 50%.

Avoid smoking, vaping, and impairment during pregnancy and while caring for your baby.

Dress your baby in appropriate sleepwear and follow swaddling safety tips to avoid overheating.

Dress your baby in appropriate sleepwear and follow swaddling safety tips to avoid overheating.

Practice tummy time to help your baby build strength and encourage proper development.

Use caution when buying products and devices for your baby, and always practice safe sleep.

Spread the safe sleep message in your community!

Signs & Symptoms of Preterm Labor

What is Preterm Labor?

Preterm labor refers to labor that happens too early in pregnancy (before 37 weeks). If you go into labor prematurely, your baby may be born too soon and have serious health problems.

Warning Signs of Preterm Labor

Your water breaks

Constant, low, dull backache

Belly cramps (with or without diarrhea)

Feeling that your baby is pushing down

Frequent contractions (that may or may not feel painful)

Changes in your vaginal discharge (or more discharge than normal)

What to Do if These Signs Happen to You

If even one sign or symptom of preterm labor happens to you, call your healthcare provider right away. Timely medical attention could possibly stop your labor's progression and improve your and your baby's chances of a healthy birth.

Count the Kicks

Why is Tracking My Baby's Movements Important?

It's essential to count your baby's movements (from kicks to jabs to rolls!) because changes in their movement during the third trimester are often the earliest signs of distress. Knowing what's normal for your baby can make you more alert to potential red flags. We frequently hear from moms who saved their babies because they noticed a change in their baby’s movement pattern and got medical attention.

How to Count the Kicks

Counting kicks is important and easy to do! Here’s how:

Starting at the third trimester, begin counting.

  • One

    Track your baby’s movements with the free Count the Kicks app (available on the Apple App Store or Google Play), web counter, or a Count the Kicks paper chart.

  • Two

    Count your baby's movements every day—preferably at the same time.

  • Three

    Time how long it takes your baby to move 10 times.

  • Four

    After a few days, you'll see the average time your baby takes to reach 10 movements.

  • Five

    Call your provider immediately if your baby's movements weaken or take more time to complete 10 movements.

  • Six

    Call your provider if you notice any sudden, wild surges in movement.

Trust Your Mother’s Intuition!

Don't hesitate to contact your provider or go to the hospital if you notice a change in your baby's normal movements or development. Your provider will want to hear about any concerns you have during your pregnancy.

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  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2023, April 3). Working together to reduce black maternal mortality.