Yes, it matters. It is the simplest response that I never thought I would have to make in regard to this. As a relatively new mom, I never recognized discrimination when it came to me being a parent. Meaning, I never had my race be an issue when it came to my children or me being a mom. That is until I had my son this past March. Sometimes in the health care community when you are a mom your voice is not heard. That is even more so prevalent in underprivileged communities as well as predominantly Black and Brown communities.
Honestly, I am not one who is racially charged in situations. I notice it in the entertainment business as a whole and in police brutality but I never became sensitive to other’s reactions to my race, until recently.
When having my son I was told I could either pay for valet or have my baby in the street. I never paid for valet before so I questioned having to pay it this time and this was the valet response. I informed the nurses of my doctor and they insisted that I meant that I visited him in a clinic in a less economically sound part of town vs his office in a more affluent part of town. I was told I could not have my toddler with me when I had to take my self to the hospital for a preterm labor scare and when I informed them I had no one at the present time and didn’t want to call my husband from work until we knew for sure what was taking place I was scoffed at and looked down upon. When I was in extreme pain after my c section due to a spinal leak from a small mishap with my anesthesia I was asked am I sure I am not just having an anxiety attack. Lastly, when I asked about what meds I was taking and what times I was taking them while in the hospital I was given attitude when I stated I wanted a smaller dosage or chose not to take certain things without speaking with my doctor first.
Now could it have been poor nurses on duty during this time, yes, maybe it wasn’t racially charged, but the fact that there are several women who encounter so many similarities it makes it feel completely unlikely that it is all a coincidence and a bad day in the office.
Just because a hospital hired more black doctors in roles that didn’t before house them more than the average 3% does not mean that all staff has sensitivity training. I know this is an infamous time right now and I dare not give crap to our health care workers that are risking their lives right now. Because this is still an issue and there may be moms and moms of color like myself who are suffering or have suffered in this epidemic, it is imperative that I assist in shedding light on this issue as it too has been something I have experienced. You don’t have to experience something first hand for you to shed light on, in my case I did. This is a real issue that needs real addressing for all families, but for women of color, I want you to educate yourself a little bit more and ask the pertinent questions and demand respectful responses that could potentially help you, your baby or you both.
I would like to implore specifically Providence St. Joesph Hospital chain in Southern California to set up a more vigorous sensitivity training program in their hospitals. I had a few great nurses and have an amazing doctor. So far with it being 5 weeks post delivery we are healthy and doing great and I believe that will continue. I also had not so great workers assist me, and there are others who are not doing well because their voice are not being heard or the color of their skin is not the color that bring respect. That shouldn’t be the case in what could be considered the scariest moment in any mother’s life. The day she gives birth and the mental and physical recovery afterward is paramount.
Please see other media organization below that have and continue to comment on this very important issue. Please stay safe and respect one another. The ones that put their lives on the line and the ones that have their lives on the line.
Below is an excerpt from CNN HEALTH click link for full article:
To many, Beyoncé is the history-making superstar who “runs the world” with 22 Grammy Awards to her name — and hot sauce in her bag.Yet last year, on the day she gave birth to twins Rumi and Sir, she faced a health scare.Queen Bey was swollen from what she called “toxemia” or preeclampsia, a pregnancy complication that involves high blood pressure and protein in the urine, estimated to affect about 3.4% of pregnancies in the United States.Due to the complication, 36-year-old Beyoncé had been on bed rest for more than a month before having an emergency cesarean section because her and her babies’ health were in danger, she said in Vogue magazine’s September issue, which debuted online Monday.”Today I have a connection to any parent who has been through such an experience. After the C-section, my core felt different. It had been major surgery,” said Beyoncé, who also was featured on the magazine’s cover.”Some of your organs are shifted temporarily, and in rare cases, removed temporarily during delivery. I am not sure everyone understands that. I needed time to heal, to recover,” she said. “During my recovery, I gave myself self-love and self-care, and I embraced being curvier. I accepted what my body wanted to be.”
Below is an excerpt from the National Institute of Health:
“The Black Mamas Matter Alliance is sponsoring the third annual Black Maternal Health Week as part of the observation of National Minority Health Month in April. Rates of maternal morbidity and mortality (MMM) are much higher in the United States than in its peer nations. National severe maternal morbidity (SMM) rates have nearly doubled over the past decade, and the incidence of SMM was 166% higher for Black women than White women from 2012 to 2015. To help mitigate SMM, the Black Mamas Matter Alliance will observe Black Maternal Health Week to raise awareness of the problem; enrich the dialogue surrounding Black maternal health; promote solutions, policies, and research; and increase community involvement.”
Below is an excerpt from Parents Magazine / Parents.com for the full article click the link:
American Birth Story: The Changing Face of Birth in America
Before COVID-19, America already had the highest maternal mortality rates in the developed world—with Black and Native women disproportionately affected. Months before the first novel coronavirus case was diagnosed in Wuhan, China, the Parents.com team began investigating why America is failing pregnant people. As the pandemic spread, it became clear that the issues already existing in maternal care in this country were being heightened—access to health care became even more problematic, hospital resources were draining, insurance premiums skyrocketing, and culturally competent prenatal and delivery care that did exist in the form of midwives and doulas were limited or banned from delivery rooms. We knew we had to shift our reporting to address the impact COVID-19 was having on pregnancy and delivery and how the virus could forever change maternal care in this country, for better or worse.