Risking Death for Birth

Do you like sex? Do you like children? Everything it takes to create a child is enjoyable for the most part but there is one part that isn’t, dying. 

The staggering numbers that are stacked up against mothers of color show that we are five times more likely to lose our life during or right after childbirth. There’s no way this is a coincidence. This is planned, this is racism, this is America. 

 Although, the bill, H.R. 1318, the “Preventing Maternal Deaths Act of 2017,” which reauthorizes, amend, and expand the Safe Motherhood initiative within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including authorizing support for State and tribal Maternal Mortality Review Committees that meet certain requirements; has passed why is this necessary in the first place? I’ll tell you why, because in the US, black women are 243% more likely to die from pregnancy or childbirth related causes than white women.  Does this bill really put into play to make medical staff more responsible, and accountable? Because it damn sure won’t erase systematic racism. 

Another question to ponder, what makes us and our babies seem like we don’t deserve proper care? 

"Maternal mortality rates show that mothers, especially black mothers, risk death to give birth." Rep. Stacey Abrams. I personally want 2 more children, if we can afford it, but to know that each time I go into a hospital to give birth there’s a higher chance I won’t be able to come out alive and raise my children, scares me to death. 

To quote Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand 

“My bill (Modernizing Obstetric Medicine Standards (MOMS) Act. The new legislation would attempt to prevent women from suffering from medical complications before, during and after pregnancy) would direct the Department of Health and Human Services to work with leading researchers and health care providers to issue standardized best practices to help reduce maternal mortality rates,” Gillibrand said. “We must solve the maternal mortality crisis and we must do everything in our power to end the racial disparities in our health care system.”

“Black women are estimated to be up to 12 times more likely to die during pregnancy and childbirth than white women,” according to a release from Gillibrand’s office. This is a bill a fully support and hope more politicians and doctors jump on board and show support. 

 Forty black women died per 100,000 births between 2011 and 2014, compared to 12.4 deaths per 100,000 births for white women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A study in the American Journal of Public Health examined five common, life-threatening complications for pregnant women. While black women weren’t necessarily at a greater risk for the complications themselves, they were two or three times more likely than white women to die from those complications. “This increased risk of pregnancy-related death among black women,” study authors wrote, “is independent of age, parity or education.”

Simply put we are looked at as less human. We are expected to go through more pain and not complain, we aren’t treated equally or fairly. The thought makes you more hesitant to even want to have children because you know, that one day, they too will be treated the same way because of their race.

Not because of their education, their social status, the income, or their career option, but all because of something they have no control over. WE deserve better.  

Kimberly McCarver can be found on her public Facebook page  The Kimberz . She is a life-giving, breastfeeding, complex, melanted lover of love. She lives in Austin, TX with her family.

Kimberly McCarver can be found on her public Facebook page The Kimberz. She is a life-giving, breastfeeding, complex, melanted lover of love. She lives in Austin, TX with her family.