Monday, May 27, 2024

HEALTHIER YOU: Putting a focus on Black maternal health

April 20, 2024 by  
Filed under Health

Dr. Marguerite Brathwaite OB-GYN

BY DR. MARGUERITE BRATHWAITE OB-GYN

Black Maternal Health Week is recognized each year from April 11-17, bringing attention and action to improving the health of Black mothers. 

Each year in the United States, hundreds of people die during pregnancy or in the year after. Thousands more have unexpected outcomes of labor and delivery with serious short-or long-term health consequences. Every pregnancy related death is tragic — especially because more than 80% of pregnancy-related deaths in the U.S. are preventable. Many pregnancy-related deaths could be prevented by recognizing urgent maternal warning signs, providing timely treatment, and delivering respectful, quality care. 

Black women are three times more likely to die from a pregnancy-related cause than white women. Multiple factors contribute to these disparities — such as variation in quality healthcare, underlying chronic conditions, structural racism, and implicit bias. Social determinants of health prevent many people from racial and ethnic minority groups from having fair opportunities for economic, physical, and emotional health. 

In recognition of Black Maternal Health Week, here are some tips to support pregnant people in your life in reducing factors that contribute to pregnancy-related complications and death: 

● Talk to a healthcare provider if anything doesn’t feel right or is concerning about one’s pregnancy. 

● Know and seek immediate care if experiencing any of the urgent maternal warning signs, including severe headache, extreme swelling or hands or face, trouble breathing, heavy vaginal bleeding or discharge, overwhelming tiredness, and more. These symptoms could indicate a potentially life-threatening complication. 

● Share recent pregnancy history during each medical care visit for a period up to one year after delivery. 

● Connect with healthcare and social support systems before, during, and after pregnancy. 

There is no cure for endometriosis, but treatments are available for the symptoms and problems it causes. Talk to your doctor about your treatment options or call Innovative Women’s Care at (702) 413-7740. 

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