Black Mamas Lives Matter #blm
I am thinking of all the pain so many people are feeling across the country today. There are plenty of people who are expressing the pain, frustration, and fear better than I can so I thought I would talk a little about the huge disparity in health outcomes for Black women instead. This is an area where I feel I can make a difference.
Studies and data consistently show an increase risk of maternal mortality in Black women somewhere between 2.5-5 x higher than white women, this is controlling for socioeconomic conditions. The best explanations researchers have for this is institutional racism in society and healthcare systems, chronic stress (also due to daily racism), and higher rates of hypertension.
What I pledge to do is try to identify and confront any implicit bias of my own and the institutions I work in. I also try my best to make sure all my patients, but especially the concerns of my Black patients are addressed, not ignored, and they feel comfortable in our practice. As physicians and health care systems I know we can do better to address these inequities. As mothers (to-be-mothers) we can only try and empathize with our Black communities and try to be supportive of their pain, fear, and mistrust.
ACOG has a position as well - emphasizing the disparity in outcomes with COVID-19 in Communities of color.
If you are so inclined check out this amazing group Black Mamas Matter Alliance https://blackmamasmatter.org
This article was very well written and extremely powerful. It was also heart-breaking as a mother to read this. We can do better.
"But Black mothers in America have always known what it is like to carry a life that the world has already decided will not matter."
I'm Due to Give Birth Today But All I Can Think About is George Floyd
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Artwork Courtesy of Brooke Reich Lucas