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Black Maternal Health Week Blog

Why are we the first in maternal deaths and the last in healthcare? What are you doing to make healthcare first for us and last in maternal deaths? According to the CDC, Black women are three times more likely than white women to die from pregnancy related complications. The numbers aren’t getting any better, even as medicine progresses black maternal health has worsened. As a Mother, a black woman and a doula, I often question why are we dying at such astronomical rates? It doesn’t matter our socioeconomic status, education or determinants of health, our rates of dying are significantly higher. There are so many factors in why our rates have not gone down in the 21 century. We experience implicit bias in healthcare, structural racism and lastly epigenetics. It’s said that women of color don’t experience pain or we exaggerate our pain levels. I have never understood this comment. Yes, we are viewed as being strong black women, however, we are human and we feel pain as any other HUMAN would. Oftentimes as a black woman I can see how we fit the narrative of being a strong black woman . Society has it where we need to be a full time mother, employee, significant other while raising and nurturing our children that may not have the same privileges as our counterparts. It is very important that we nurture ourselves and live in our POWER and not our STRENGTH. Doctors are the experts on medicine but we are the experts on our body! Epigenetics says if a woman is pregnant with a girl she is carrying three generations. My hope is that we will have more powerful, impactful women to lead this country and to have more providers that look like us to care for us. Having providers that look like us would help with destructuring our healthcare. As a doula, I make a change through each and every woman that I come in contact with to let them know their options and to help them advocate for themselves and their babies.

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