NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — State leaders, advocates and organizations have partnered together to bring awareness to Black Maternal Health Week.

The theme for this year’s Black Maternal Health Week is “OUR BODIES BELONG TO US: Restoring Black Autonomy and Joy.”

On Tuesday, state leaders and advocates gathered to call attention to the inequities that impact mothers of color. According to the CDC, Black mothers and infants have a higher mortality rate and also have a lower rate of breastfeeding compared to white babies.

“In the city where I live and represent, in New Haven, Black women are seven times more likely to die due to pregnancy-related complications,” State Rep. Robin A. Porter said.

The Community Action Agency of New Haven, a non-profit and social service agency partnered with several organizations to bring awareness to a lack of breastfeeding-friendly workplaces in Connecticut on Monday.

Advocates want to increase the number of state-recognized breastfeeding-friendly worksites. There are currently only 67 breastfeeding-friendly worksites in Connecticut.

Breastfeeding has been proven to help infants’ immune systems and also reduces risks of asthma, obesity and diabetes.

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The call of action is to encourage 99 more employers to join the breastfeeding-friendly worksite list.

“Women need to know this is a right that they have and that there are other women like us in organizations that are supporting them making sure that they have this right so they can go back to work they can take care of their children so I think this is one of the reasons why we do that but it’s for all women but it impacts Black women unfortunately disproportionately,” said Toni Hard, president of the Links in New Haven.