Climate & Perinatal Health Equity

Did you know that the same outcomes of the climate crisis also shape the health of parents and babies?

Black and Indigenous pregnant parents experience the highest combined risk, compounding the injustices in both climate exposure and perinatal health

Perinatal Health = Planetary Health

Rising Temperatures and Air Pollution Increase Risk for...

Preterm Birth

Risk of preterm birth increases with each grade of temperature increase or with longer duration of heat exposure

Low Birth Weight

Ozone exposure was associated with low birth weight in 86% of the studies documented by a 2020 systematic review


A 2020 meta analysis documented that temperature predicted increased risk of stillbirth in 100% of the studies

It is clear that the climate crisis must be addressed from the lens of perinatal health equity

Join Nurturely for research, education, and community action at the intersection of climate and perinatal health.


Participate in research to help us understand the perinatal health factors that increase climate resilience.


Learn how to support climate resilience in your community with training opportunities for perinatal health professionals


Speak up about the urgency of the climate x perinatal intersection. Join our EnviroNatal Equity campaign for downloadable talking points and shareables.

EnviroNatal Equity Week events

EnviroNatal Equity Week

Bridging Perinatal Equity + Climate Justice

EnviroNatal Equity Week, running from April 18th to 21st, serves as a vital bridge between Black Maternal Health Week (founded by BMMA) and Earth Day. It is a call to action, rooted in the urgency of the intersecting crises of maternal health, racial inequity, and climate change. Building upon the purpose and history of Black Maternal Health Week, which shines a spotlight on the alarming disparities in maternal outcomes for Black mothers, EnviroNatal Equity Week extends this focus to highlight that climate justice should be inseparable from perinatal health justice. In an era where the health of babies and parents is profoundly affected by rising temperatures and environmental hazards, this week seeks to unite communities, experts, and advocates to address the critical interplay between climate change, racial inequities, and maternal health. By mobilizing those who care deeply about the well-being of families and our planet, EnviroNatal Equity Week endeavors to drive awareness, action, and transformative change for healthier futures.

In addition to our main events, we want to share EnviroNatal Equity Events you're hosting! We will soon have a list of all national events posted on this site for public viewing. Examples of events include hosting your own Nature Walk on 4/20 or hosting an inperson watch party/event for the Symposium on 4/19!

EnviroNatal Equity Symposium

Save the Date for Friday, April 19th 2024

Nurturely hosts an annual interdisciplinary symposium at the intersection of pregnancy, postpartum, and infant health and environmental/climate justice featuring leading researchers, organizers, and advocates. 

Symposium Agenda

Time (Pacific)



9:00 - 9:15am


Welcome, Intros, and Thank Yous

9:15 - 9:25am


Nurturely Victories

9:25 - 9:45am

Desiree Smith

Bridging Climate and Reproductive Justice: Addressing the Impact of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs) on Black Women's Perinatal Health

9:45 - 9:50am

Q & A 

Q & A

9:55 - 10:15am

Catherine Toms

Driving Families to Better Health with Electric Vehicles

10:15 - 10:20am

Q & A 

Q & A

10:20 - 11:00am

Kaitlyn Joshua,

Shamell Lavigne,

Malaika Ludman,

Antonia Juhasz

PANEL: Cancer Alley: The Fight for Life in a Louisiana Fossil Fuel Sacrifice Zone

11:00 - 11:10am


Active Break: pocstock and the Power of Representation in Stock Media

11:10 - 11:30am

Skye Wheeler

Aver Yakubu

The Wombs and Wildfire Project: Why the Climate Crisis Needs a RJ Response

11:30 - 11:35am

Q & A 

Q & A

11:35 - 11:55am

Lisa Heelan-Fancher

The Impact of Living in an Environmental Justice Community on Birth Outcomes

11:55 - 12:00pm

Q & A

Q & A

12:00 - 12:20pm

Vanessa Simmons

Placental Wisdom from Mother Nature

12:20 - 12:25pm

Q & A 

Q & A

12:25 - 12:55

Josephine Ferorelli,

Meghan Kallman,

Dr. Chidimma Ozor Commer

PANEL: The Conceivable Future: Where family planning meets climate justice

12:55 - 1:05pm

Q & A 

Q & A

1:05 - 1:08pm


Closing / Thank you / Eval

Past Presenters - EnviroNatal Health Equity Symposium

Melissa Burt, PhD (she/her)

Dr. Melissa Burt is an Assistant Professor and Assistant Dean for Diversity and Inclusion in the Department of Atmospheric Science and Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering at Colorado State University. Her research spans the intersection of atmospheric science and social justice issues. Dr. Burt also focuses on recruitment, retention, and engagement of faculty/staff, and supports the college-wide recruitment and retention efforts of students and is committed to fostering an inclusive College environment. She is the Vice President for the non-profit 501(c)3 organization, the Earth Science Women’s Network and a co-founder of Science Moms. Dr. Burt has a B.S. degree in Meteorology from Millersville University and a M.S. and Ph.D. in Atmospheric Science from Colorado State University.

Tonni Oberly, MPH, CHES, CLC (she/her)

Tonni Oberly is a research scholar at the National Birth Equity Collaborative (NBEC). Tonni is pursuing her PhD in City and Regional Planning at The Ohio State University with a focus on the intersectional impact of place, racism, and gender on maternal and infant health outcomes in the Black community. Tonni also holds a Master’s in Public Health with a specialization in health behavior and health promotion from the Ohio State University along with Bachelors degrees in biology and women’s, gender, and sexuality studies from Emory University. Tonni is also a trained doula, supporting Black women and women of color through pregnancy, labor and delivery, and the postpartum period. She is a Certified Lactation Counselor as well as a Certified Health Education Specialist with expertise in program planning, implementation, and evaluation. She has professional experience managing public health programs and research projects at the city and state levels. Tonni and her husband own and operate a farm using regenerative agricultural principles with the goal of producing socially and environmentally responsible food and agricultural products as part of the local food and economic system.

Sartteka Nefer, MA (they/them)

Sartteka am ab Nefer supported her first birth at the age of 15. She now has a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology with two minors in Women’s Studies and LGBT Studies and a Master’s degree is in Women’s Studies. She took a Spinning Babies class in 2018, did a monologue about her birth story and began official doula training the following year with For the Village. She was finishing her last degree and working full time as an educator until 2020 when she began to focus on birthwork full time. Sartteka joined the Birthing From Within community when she started the Childbirth Educator “Mentoring From Within'' certification program in April 2020, joined The Nafsa Project School Traditional Moroccan Postpartum training certification program in June 2020, became a Nafsa Project School Ambassador in September of 2020, joined the Milk Magic Educators by Nurturely in October 2020, joined the Traditional Birthworkers Association and became an Ambassador for the Traditional Birthworkers Association in December 2020. Her birth story is published in volume 2 of Reclaiming Our Stories for those who wish to know more about Sartteka’s birthwarrior journey. Pregnancy, birth, postpartum & reproductive justice are her biggest passions, along with farming and food justice & climate awareness. Bringing holistic, traditional practices & knowledge to individuals, families & communities is her Nia (purpose). Sartteka is currently working towards expanding her birthwork through her business Nefer Het Ankh (beautiful House of Life) and looks forward to applying for Midwifery school.

Community Action

Wombs & Wildfires

Join our cross-sector workgroup to co-create materials to support pregnant and postpartum people during wildfire season

Join us.

Thank you to our partners that support this important work

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