This week is the second annual Black Maternal Health Week (April 11 – April 17). I am a big supporter of the health of black women and mothers. There are black women that are dying in pregnancy and childbirth, more than any other race of women. H
Serena Williams here and Beyonce hereboth have been very vocal about their experience during pregnancy and childbirth and the complications they experienced. The issues that they speak about happens all the time to black women.
Their experiences continue to help shine a light on the urgent need of medical care for pregnant black women. You have to ask how can the United States have such high rates of mortality during pregnancy and childbirth. This is what got me. I know we live in a country that has the best medical system. But yet it seems to be failing black women, and more than ever poor black women.
I’m trying to make this make sense.
I have given birth four times and never thought that my life could be in danger or that a symptom could be overlooked in pregnancy and during and after birth.
I was poor, black, and uneducated about my body. I put all my trust in the doctors and caretakers during my pregnancy and birth. I never thought about dying.
I did not know what was normal or what I should feel or expect. Who teaches this? Who will speak up for me when I can’t? How can I be more vocal in for my care?
There are so many questions.
How do we get more mothers to be more educated and more vocal about their bodies?
Why is Black Maternal Week important?
It’s important because it shines alike on what is going on. It’s important because it can help prevent deaths. It can help prevent missed opportunities by mothers and caregivers. It’s important because not only is it an issue with the relationship between black women and caregivers but also other underlying issues such as race and class.
How can you Help
You can help by spreading the word and sharing information. You can attend events that support Black Maternal Health Week. You can help a mother with education and support.
You can visit BMMA to learn more and get resources.
I have always shared that my last birth was my best birth. My last birth I had a doula and a midwife and gave birth at a birthing center. I felt the most vocal and empowered during my pregnancy and birth. I don’t know if giving birth on your own terms makes a difference or if it was because of the personalized care I received. I will tell you that it was a huge difference.
Did you know this was an issue in the black community?