BLACK MAMAS AND BABIES MATTER. Period. .... Before I became pregnant with my son, I had absolutely no idea how different the experience of pregnancy and birth is for women of color and their precious babies. How much higher their mortality rate - for the mamas, but especially their babies! - are. How devastating it is to lose a baby because Mama and baby don't get the same medical attention and treatment as I would due to their skin color. I'm not talking about things that happened 100 years ago - this is happening TODAY!
This week is Black Maternal Health Week. And I am so grateful that Aviva Romm, MD, a powerhouse of a woman and doctor standing up for ALL mamas-to-be, compiled important resources and helpful links that she allowed me to share here. I highly encourage you to follow Dr. Aviva as well (I have for years!) and to stand up together and put pressure on the system to finally change!!
At a time when the pace of medical advances can be breathtaking, the rate of maternal death in the United States remains devastatingly high: 14 for every 100,000 live births. The United States is one of only two developed countries where maternal death rates actually worsened between 1990 and 2015. Black women have the highest maternal mortality rates of any group in the U.S.
While in my opinion, that’s enough reason to make EVERY DAY Black Maternal Health Day, this is, in fact, Black Maternal Health Week. #blackmaternalhealthweek
It’s seven days dedicated to shining a light on the life-threatening crisis that black mothers experience in this country. The stark truth is that when a Black woman walks into her first OB appointment the risks are already stacked up against her: She and her baby are disproportionately more likely to experience a host of preventable complications and are significantly more likely to die than the white moms and babies sitting in the waiting room next to her or in the next hospital room.
Why aren't we saving Black mothers? It's not just a matter of poor obstetric practices in the U.S., though there’s that too, but a whole lot of factors that are part of deeply-rooted, systemic, overt - and hidden - racism.
If you’re pregnant or thinking about having a baby, I’ve compiled some resources that have information that I believe will make a difference in the experience of black mamas and their babies.
My interview with Dr. Jess on the Birth Circle. We talk about racial and reproductive justice, and how her experience as a Black medical student and Black pregnant woman impacted her journey to birth her baby boy, Brilliant: https://avivaromm.com/dr-jessica-clemons/
The National Black Doulas Association connects Black birthing families with Black Doulas nationwide - which statistically has been correlated with better birth outcomes for families: https://www.blackdoulas.org/
Black Mamas matter: a non-profit working to create a world where Black Mamas have the rights, respect, & resources to thrive before, during, & after pregnancy: https://blackmamasmatter.org/
How to be your best advocate - a free 90-minute class I recorded for the #ideservebirthsupport group that will equip you with the tactical - and legal - information you need to advocate for yourself should you need to: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ideservebirthsupport
Listen to my podcast episode: https://avivaromm.com/black-mothers-lives-matter/
The culture of birth violence against BIWOC mamas needs to stop. Racism is killing mothers and babies in this country. It's going to take our pressure on the system - and space and resources for more BIWOC to become birth workers - to change it into one that's safe and equitable for all mamas.
If you can, donate directly to an organization working to change Black maternal mortality rates - #blackmaternalhealthweek movement. Another way to donate is to purchase your supplements through DharmaMoms - The Replenish Supplement Store on my website. All proceeds from supplement sales there this week will go to the Black Mamas Matter Alliance @blackmamasmatter
In addition to Dr. Aviva's resources, I am adding two videos from YouTube here that may interest you:
How Race Impacts Black Women in Medicine, Their Fertility & What We Can Do About It Dr. Temeka Zore on EggWhisperer.
And this is a focus on Assisted Reproductive Technology and Black women:
Infertility in Black Women with Dr. Desireé McCarthy-Keith, Shady Grove Fertility Clinic Atlanta
Please reach out to me if you have further resources, so I can include them here as well, thanks a million!
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