We Need To Do More To Help Mothers In America

We Need To Do More To Help Mothers In America

How can we best support new moms in America?
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With Mother’s Day here, it seems appropriate to look at how America’s mothers are doing. And sad to say it isn’t good, America is “most dangerous affluent country in which to give birth” with over 60% of deaths being preventable according to the CDC Foundation.

Deaths aren’t the only thing, there are other medical conditions as well, some of which can be a lifelong struggle to cope with, so what is going on? “The reasons include striking declines in the health of women giving birth and inequities in access to insurance and maternity care... Medicaid, which pays for half of all U.S. births, covers many mothers only up to two months past delivery. As a result, for low-income women, pre-existing conditions that imperiled one delivery may go unseen and untreated until the next pregnancy.”

The combination of poor or less accessible healthcare, plus an increase in needing healthcare presents a double whammy of poor effects, and a vicious cycle of mother’s not getting the help they need.

It is also important to note, “what some experts have dubbed “delay and denial” — the failure of doctors and nurses to recognize a woman’s distress signals and other worrisome symptoms, both during childbirth and the often risky period that follows.” This is a dangerous trend. It reminds me of the story of doctors learning how to break bad news.

At one point doctors wouldn’t even tell patients about a terminal diagnosis. But with the pioneering of Rob Buckman, with some help from Monty Python (seriously listen to the linked podcast it’s an amazing story) doctors learned how to break bad news, and it starts with listening and empathizing. Without empathizing with patients, and listening to them, doctors are missing important details about their patient's conditions which are leading to serious health implications.

That’s not everything though.

Incredibly important to understand is the experience of mothers and their babies who are people of color. From one New York Times Story, "Black infants in America are now more than twice as likely to die as white infants — 11.3 per 1,000 black babies, compared with 4.9 per 1,000 white babies, according to the most recent government data — a racial disparity that is actually wider than in 1850, 15 years before the end of slavery, when most black women were considered chattel. In one year, that racial gap adds up to more than 4,000 lost black babies.

Education and income offer little protection. In fact, a black woman with an advanced degree is more likely to lose her baby than a white woman with less than an eighth-grade education.”

So what is the solution? For one thing an increase in healthcare available. This can look like doula services which there is evidence has been helping women of color, also more accessible healthcare, such as a Medicare for all. Also, the medical professions need to do a better job at listening to our mothers, in fact, we all probably could do a better job at listening to our mothers.

Cover Image Credit: Joshua Rodriguez

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To The Grandmothers Who Made Us The Women We Are Today

Sincerely, the loving granddaughters.
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The relationship between a grandmother and her granddaughter is something so uniquely special and something to be treasured forever.

Your grandma loves you like you are her own daughter and adores you no matter what. She is the first person you run to when you have a problem with your parents and she never fails to grace you with the most comforting advice.

She may be guilty of spoiling you rotten but still makes sure to stress the importance of being thankful and kind.

Your grandma has most likely lived through every obstacle that you are experiencing now as a young adult and always knows just exactly what to say.

She grew up in another generation where things were probably much harder for young women than they are today.

She is a walking example of perseverance, strength, and grace who you aim to be like someday.

Your grandma teaches you the lessons she had to learn the hard way because she does not want you to make the same mistakes she did when she was growing up.

Her hugs never fail to warm your heart, her smile never fails to make you smile, and her laugh never fails to brighten your day.

She inspires you to be the best version of yourself that you can be.

You only hope that one day you can be the mother and grandmother she was to you.

A piece of girl’s heart will forever belong to her grandma that no one could ever replace.

She is the matriarch of your family and is the glue that holds you all together.

Grandmothers play such an important role in helping their granddaughters to grow into strong, intelligent, kind women.

She teaches you how to love and how to forgive.

Without the unconditional love of your grandma, you would not be the woman you are today.

To all of the grandmothers out there, thank you for being you.

Sincerely,

the loving granddaughters

Cover Image Credit: Carlie Konuch

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11 Pieces Of Fatherly Advice Everyone Needs To Be Reminded Of

The greatest man in the world is bound to give the greatest advice.

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Months and months ago my father wrote down his favorite quotes and pieces of advice for himself after reading my favorite book, "Tuesdays With Morrie."

He has always given me stellar advice about love, loss and self-worth. Now, I will share it with the world.

This one is for you, Dad.

1. Be bold but not aggressive

This is a personal favorite of mine, especially as an extrovert. I sometimes worry that being the open person I am that I come off too strong or too abrasive.

With this piece of advice though, I remind myself not to "overdo" it. Just be natural.

2. Be confident with room for humility

If there is one thing I have learned from my father it is humility. A sense of humbleness.

I am proud of the person I am, but I have learned to never think I am above anyone else or that I am more important.

3. Love others with all your heart and family with all you are

We are loving people in this household and this piece of advice proves just that.

Despite who you are or what you come off to be, it is important to love friends and lovers with every part of yourself to ensure you did everything you could.

It is important to love family with all you are because lots of the time they made you who you are in the first place.

4. When it comes to dating, even if you don't love them make sure you at least respect them

Not every person you date is "the one." Not every person you date you are going to marry.

Even so, at least respect that person you are seeing. Be polite, be courteous, be kind — be respectful to their needs even if you can't love them.

5. Be patient when it comes to true love, it is rare but so fine

My parents have a love like no other.

They are true loves, soulmates and life partners, BUT it also took time for them to get married.

6. Reserve the harshest judgement for yourself

Tough love is normal. Critiquing is normal.

What is not normal is being cruel and inconsiderate. Leave the harshest judgment for behind closed doors, in a mirror — not towards others.

7. Be tolerant but not submissive

Be patient and kind, to a point. Do not settle for something you do not deserve. Be grateful for what is fair.

8. Don't sweat the small stuff — everything is small stuff

This piece of advice speaks for itself. Do not stress the things that are out of your control. Do not get upset over little things.

In a short period of time, you won't even remember it.

9. Live with passion

Be motivated in your work, in your love, in your friendships and yourself. Living life to the fullest with joy in your heart makes for the best life.

10. Treat the elderly with honor and respect

My dad says that time is a teacher and knowledge is acquired. If it weren't for our elders, we wouldn't learn from the past.

11. Have courage and be kind — remember all your grace

This has become my motto in life. I think it means to be fearless, do things that scare you and stand up for yourself while still being a good person and better yet a KIND person.

It is important to know yourself and be true to you.

So, thank you, dad, for all your words of advice. I couldn't have lived this beautiful life without you.

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