How Hospitals Are Failing Black Mothers
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It's Time For Hospitals To Stop Ignoring Black Women's Maternal Health

"Some of y'all about to be real mad at me...but it must be said."

It's Time For Hospitals To Stop Ignoring Black Women's Maternal Health

Today, I have decided to touch on an important topic that everyone needs to hear. I'm sure you all have an idea based on my title. And yes, this topic is something we need to discuss. Imagine preparing for a baby for 9 months and going through all of the pain, only to have your life taken away from you due to improper care.

Now, there is a child who will live their whole life without a mother to look up to, as well as someone (ex: your spouse) who has to raise a child by themselves. It's heartbreaking. Even in Beyonce's Coachella Netflix documentary, "Homecoming," she expressed how she faced life-threatening complications during her pregnancy. Sadly, this issue has been going on for decades, but no one wants to speak up about it. So, when I have a baby, will I die on the table due to improper care or have pregnancy complications because the doctors I have don't care? Like Beyonce, millions of other black women in the United States are facing this issue. I mean, I always said that the most disrespected and unprotected woman in America is the black woman. These issues prove my point.

More and more black women are choosing to do home-births because of the terrifying maternal death rates.Glamour

According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), black women are three to four times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white women. This also plays a role as to why the overall rate of pregnancy-related deaths has increased over the past two decades, making the maternal mortality rate in the United States THE WORST in any nation. Does that not raise a red flag? Hearing these statistics make me scared to even have a baby. Researchers from ProPublica have found that women who deliver from these hospitals are more likely to have "serious complications from infections to birth-related embolisms to emergency hysterectomies than mothers who deliver at institutions that serve fewer black women." That's kind of messed up. What's even more messed up is that these problems are being expressed, but are being dismissed.

Let's not forget about Kira Johnson who lost her life after giving birth to her second child. After giving birth to a healthy baby boy, she struggled in the recovery room and her husband Charles noticed that there was blood in her catheter. He called attention to the nurses and medical doctors about issuing a CT scan. However, he ended up waiting SEVEN hours until doctors finally came in to do an internal scan on her. During those seven hours, Kira was in excruciating pain and began to "tremble uncontrollably." After doctors took her in, they discovered she had 3 liters of blood in her stomach and her heart stopped immediately. After that, she was pronounced dead from hemorrhage and now her husband must take care of two children alone. What was supposed to be the happiest day of Kira and Charles's life turned into a complete nightmare. Like Kira, there are millions of other black women who had the same issues, but their voices go unheard.

Pregnant Kira Johnson who was living her best life. NBC News

There are black women in fact, who have complained about their pregnancy issues and were simply dismissed because the issues were originally labeled as "non-threatening," and it turned out that those women either suffered from miscarriages, birth defects, and other pregnancy-related problems. This just shows that black women are undervalued and are not as a priority as white women in hospitals. We have to do better everyone. This makes you wonder, are medical officials trying killing off black women? Now I don't want to hear that I am "reaching," or making false accusations because the statistics are clearly there.

Now that this issue is all over social media, people have been more aware of it and are now trying to come up with ways to end this. Senator Elizabeth Warren stated that she would offer "bonus" funds to hospitals that reduce their rates of maternal mortality among black women and to penalize those that don't confront the problem. I hope Warren carries out this plan and encourages others to make changes. I also hope that people actually live by the saying, "actions speak louder than words." This is a great start to the issue and I encourage people to come up with other ways to end this problem.

So, when exactly are we going to provide proper care for black women? How many black women have to die in order for people to say something? No black mother who spent 9 months preparing to have a baby should have to die on the table or experience complications due to the lack of care. I don't know about you, but things aren't going to be solved if we sit around and wait. If doctors and nurses start paying more attention to these issues, more black lives will be saved.

I hope this article raises awareness and encourages people to take action! We have to do better everyone.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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