Black Mothers Stand Up

We have all grown up in a world filled with racism, but does it exist in the doctor’s office as well? Within the last couple of years especially during quarantine racism and racial discrimination has been witnessed on multiple occasions by millions through social media platforms and news outlets. Black Lives Matter posts can be found everywhere, but do black lives matter to doctors? Pregnant black women have now begun to question their safety with doctors. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, “Black women are three times more likely to die from a pregnancy-related cause than White women”. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has since declared racism as a public health threat. Many black women have now begun to take their health in their own hands by requesting or seeking a Black ob-gyn. 

With that in mind this fear has deeply affected the relationship dynamic between healthcare workers and black women. Black women have now turned towards Black ob-gyns in order to feel safe. Medical schools have begun to add anti racist training and training for different cultural differences for potential physicians. During an interview conducted by Veronica Zaragovia Dr. Nelson Adams testified that “If every Black woman wanted to have a Black physician, it would be virtually impossible.” So the question is what is being done to solve this problem? The CDC announced that they will, “Support 25 states through the Enhancing Reviews and Surveillance to Eliminate Maternal Mortality (ERASE MM) Program, funds 13 state perinatal quality collaboratives (PQCs) to improve the quality of care for mothers and their babies, Helps states standardize their assessments of levels of maternal and newborn care for their delivery hospitals by offering the CDC Levels of Care Assessment Tool and providing technical assistance to those who want to use it, and promotes the Hear Her campaign to raise awareness of potentially life-threatening warning signs during and after pregnancy and improve communication between patients and their healthcare providers.” The CDC is doing their part in making a difference. It’s now time for the rest of us to do our part starting with you. 

According to the CDC, “ each year in the United States, about 700 people die during pregnancy or in the year after. Another 50,000 women each year experience severe pregnancy complications that can cause serious consequences for a woman’s health.” Things that we can do to combat this issue is to speak up when witnessing racism or if you’re too shy speak up try listening to others experiences. Listening to others is always helpful to any situation, especially ones like these. We have a long way to go before saying goodbye to systematic racism, but with support, and help from others the world can become brighter little by little. If you want to read and learn more about Black maternal health you can go learn more here.