Wednesday, August 21, 2019


Black Women Dying During Childbirth: What Can Be Done to Help Prevent This.

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(ThySistas.com) While at work, I was watching a video clip from Shamika Sanders, YouTube channel and there was some interesting information about why black women are dying during childbirth at higher rates than Caucasian women and any other race of women.  Sanders is a Senior Entertainment Editor and during this episode of her show, her and guest co-hosts briefly discussed some of the commonalities of the health disparities of African American women, before, during and after childbirth.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Black mothers in the US die at three to four times the rate of white mothers, which is one of the widest racial disparities in women’s health.  Black mothers are also 243 percent more likely to die from pregnancy – or childbirth-related causes.”

With statistics such as these, there’s no wonder why we witnessed even celebrity women such as Serena Williams, Beyonce and Cardi B, all speak on their various pregnancy complications.  Serena Williams, famous African American tennis player, experienced shortness of breath and blood clots in her lungs during her childbirth.  So these racial disparities have nothing to do with the economic status of a woman pre or post childbirth, but it does have something to do with following factors:

  • Black women lack of knowledge can cause them to risk losing their lives before, during and after childbirth.
  • Not having paid leave from work will cause a woman to return to work earlier than she should which can cause damage to her body and organs overall.
  • Lack of access to affordable healthcare is a problem for anyone in this world.
  • Racism definitely is a factor because black women’s voices are often not heard in the medical field.
  • Violence against women is constantly being done in the medical industry because they use us the most to do experiments on for research.

Have you ever heard of Obstetric violence?  According to International Day of Action for Women’s Health (May 28th), “Obstetric violence is a specific type of violation of women’s rights, including the rights to equality, freedom from discrimination, information, integrity, health, and reproductive autonomy. It occurs both in public and private medical practice during health care related to pregnancy, childbirth, and post-partum and is a multi-factorial context of institutional and gender violence.”  To sum it up, it’s how institutional violence intersects with violence against women.

Now going back to the show on YouTube, at the end of episode, Sanders asked her co-hosts if they had any advice to give or takeaways to give to the viewers on ways that we can all help prevent black women from dying during childbirth and here are some tips that they left us with:

  • Black women use your voice. SPEAK UP when something doesn’t look or feel right.  Do whatever you need to do to have your voice heard.  Your life depends on it, literally.
  • Educate yourself and others. Learn more about this and other causes of childbirth related deaths or injuries if you are currently pregnant or considering becoming pregnant.  Once you become educated, teach someone else to help get the information out there in our communities.
  • Support the pregnant woman. In order to have a healthy childbirth and beyond, the mother needs support and to be cared for before, during and after her pregnancy.  So make yourself available and support the pregnant women in your life.

We all can do our parts to help prevent deaths of African American women during childbirth.  Having shortness of breath should never be a mother’s final breath before she witnesses the joy of seeing and holding her unborn child.  Lawmakers are aware of these health disparities but only can do so much.  It is a public health issue so that means we all are affected by this not just the mother’s immediate family.

Staff Writer; Felicia T. Simpson

One may also connect with this sister online over at; FTSimpson.com.


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