Giving birth is one of the most beautiful aspects of life. From finding out the good news of expecting a bundle of joy to planning a nursery room in your home; it’s a blessing! This blessing also comes with some tear jerking statistics that can make labor and delivery very hazardous. NBC News reports that Black women have a higher maternal mortality rate and are dying 2 1⁄2 times more than White women. Unfortunately, this higher maternal mortality rates are believed to be due to institutional racism, higher susceptibility to specific health concerns (obesity or hypertension) and also a lack of quality prenatal care.
More specifically, Black women also have a higher rate of having C-Sections during childbirth. With April being C-section awareness month, it’s important for our community to examine the statistics. The March of Dimes reports that Black women have the highest C-section rate of 35.4% as reported in 2016-2018. Why? Are no other delivery methods being sought? Are these full term births? What support system is in place inside of the delivery room? As a mother of one daughter who was born by C-section, this is terrifying. I did not plan to have a C-section; however there were complications that warranted the outcome of a C-section.
In order for our urban community to get in front of the epidemic, there are a few factors to note.
- Always ask questions. Usually with your first pregnancy most doctors brush off your concerns as being the first time mom inquiries. However, I beg to differ. YOU know your body and have the right to inquire about any ache, pain, question or etc so be confident in asking about your baby’s health.
- Have a support system. You are not alone. Take your partner, relative or friend with you to appointments. They may generate questions that you did not think of. They can also serve as a comforting shoulder to lean on during this blessed occasion.
- Stay Active. Most women operate under the myth that you’re “eating for two” and often put physical activity aside. Some health concerns may be easier to conquer if we keep our bodies active. So go on that walk, go for that swim or do some yoga. It may also help with flexibility which could also assist during labor and delivery.
During this time the most important concern should be to await your special delivery in a safe manner. Lean on God’s unchanging hand while also noting some other important factors. Enjoy this special occasion called Motherhood!