Black Maternal Health: How To Advocate For Yourself

Black Maternal Health Week, how timely this week falls in the midst of the COVID 19 crisis as the number of death tolls for the Black community tops the charts in all major cities throughout the country. While many experts are attributing these numbers to pre-existing health conditions, poor diets equate weak immune systems and a host of other text book reasonings. It is no surprise the black community has experienced disparities as it pertains to our health and wellness since slavery. 

Black Mothers are no different. The reason why Black Maternal

While many would like to attribute the exponentially high mortality rates for Black Moms pre birth, during and after childbirth to, lack of attending appointments, healthy diets etc., the truth is, Black Moms are treated differently by far, for reasons we can only attribute to the color of our skin. However, it's important that we begin to jumpstart taking control of our birthing experiences by implementing a couple changes to how we approach our doctors visits and care. Many times we say “advocate for yourself”  and to be honest, many people have no idea what that means. Here is a list of ways we can approach doctors appointments (of all kinds) to enhance the trajectory of positive and healthy birth and health outcomes for Black Mothers. 

  1. Create a list of questions that you may have and bring them with you to your doctors appointment.

  2. Bring someone with you to your appointment if your partner is not available.. Leverage any close friends or family members you may have. If individuals are not available to attend leverage technology and use video conferencing or speaker phone. 

  3. Take Notes during your appointment. 

  4. Ask questions during the appointment and assure you understand the information as much as possible.

  5. Shop around your physician until you feel comfortable. 

  6. Read physician reviews online.

  7. REPORT any wrongdoings or mistreatment you experience. 

Many ask how can they help Black moms and my answer is speak up and advocate for us. Think of it as the neighborhood watch program. If you see something or hear something, SAY something. 

Too often the cries of Black moms fall on deaf ears as we make complaints and have others making decisions for us. It takes a village, let’s work on that. 

© 2019 Sinking Heels Of Motherhood by RedE.Image Media