Pregnancy can be one of the most stressful and scariest times of your life. The last thing you need is a doctor that isn’t going to listen to you. According to the CDC, black mothers in the U.S. are three to four times more likely to die from pregnancy or childbirth-related causes than white women. Most could’ve been prevented! Did you know that this is so much of an issue that there is a Black Maternal Healthweek from April 11-17th to raise awareness? I had no idea that such a week existed or was even needed until I saw it all over my newsfeed on Instagram. Black Maternal Healthweek may be over, but the discussion must continue.
3 Reasons to Switch Your Doctor During Pregnancy
Late last year I began seriously thinking about having another baby. Around this time, I started seeing several news articles about black women dying during childbirth. Reading those articles really had me shook. I couldn’t believe what I was reading. Doctors are not listening to us! It took me back to my pregnancy with my baby girl. During the early stages of my pregnancy, I was super stressed. The doctor that I had at the time didn’t care at all. That’s the worst feeling a pregnant woman can have. If your doctor isn’t listening to you, it’s time to switch doctors.
Your Doctor is Not Listening to You
The first doctor I had during my daughter’s pregnancy misdiagnosed me. I wasn’t even supposed to be seeing this particular doctor, but the midwife that I was scheduled to see was out of the office. The midwife listened to my concerns, but this new doctor didn’t care about anything I had to say. He misdiagnosed me with a blighted ovum and told me he was 99.9% sure I would miscarry. Spoiler alert: I didn’t miscarry and my child will be 4 in May. When he first told me I had a blighted ovum, I began to do a lot of research. I found out that this was often misdiagnosed. My husband and I tried to tell him that this happened to a lot of women. The doctor did not care about my research because he had been doing this for years and he thought there was no possible way that he could be wrong. He didn’t care what I had to say.
Your Doctor Has Horrible Bedside Manner
I still felt very much pregnant and just felt like something was off about what he was telling me and how he was acting towards me. He wasn’t friendly at all. He was so cold towards me and my husband too. I began to cry in the office when he told me that he was 99.9% sure I’d miscarry due to my HCG levels being so high and not being able to see my baby on the ultrasound. Do you think he began to care at even that moment? Not at all. He didn’t comfort me not one bit. It seemed as if he was ready for me to get out of his office as he felt he had told me everything that I needed to know.
Your Doctor is Not Supportive
This doctor was not supportive in any way shape or form. He told me that there was no reason for me to have any hope! I was not going to have my baby. I wish I was making this up, but I’m not. He told me that I could get a D&C several times and there was really no need to wait. He said that I could just let it happen naturally, but he kept mentioning a D&C anyway even though I had said I wasn’t going to do that.
That day, I made up my mind that I was never ever going back to that doctor’s office again. I switched doctors so I could get a second opinion ASAP. I had a far better experience with a staff that listened to what I had to say. My midwife made sure that she was supportive in every way and made me feel as comfortable as I could during my pregnancy, during labor, and after!
Doctors Are Not Listening to Us!
Can you imagine what could’ve happened if I stayed under the other doctor’s care? First of all, I could’ve been without my child right now if I had taken his advice and received a D&C. That’s crazy! If I had stayed under his care I could’ve not been here right now. It’s clear he didn’t care at all about my wellbeing. If I felt something going horribly wrong with my pregnancy I’m sure he wouldn’t have listened to me. He wouldn’t have taken me seriously.
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The sad reality is that #Black mothers face maternal health challenges at alarmingly high rates + women like @serenawilliams, @beyonce, @michelleobama, @gabunion have done their part to raise awareness by sharing their own stories. This Black Maternal Health Week, get informed + be part of the solution. Follow + support @blackmamasmatter’s work on this critical issue. #BMHW19
We have got to make these doctors listen to us or find a doctor and staff who will. I’m blessed that I was able to find another doctor’s office with a midwife and staff that was truly there for me. Speak up if you feel something is wrong or you’re in a lot of pain or feeling any kind of way. Speak. Up. Please surround yourself with a strong support system that will speak up for you if you can’t do so yourself because something has gone wrong.
Black Mamas Matter
Let other black women know that black mothers are dying during pregnancy and childbirth at an alarming rate each year. We all need to be aware of this so we can advocate for ourselves. Let your doctor know your concerns about this so they are aware and know that you are aware and expect the absolute best care. Black mothers are out here dying when half of the time these things are very much preventable if the doctor would just LISTEN!
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Black women are 4 times more likely to die from childbirth complications than white women. There are many factors but one important factor, according to Dr Neel Shah, is that that health care providers respond slower to black women when they complain about their pain!!!! #ListenToMe #IKnowMyBody #BlackMamasMatter @blackmamasmatter @4kira4moms #BlackMaternalHealthWeek
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Women of color, in particular Black women, face significantly worse health outcomes due to racial discrimination and inaccessibility to health care. Created by @blackmamasmatter, #BlackMaternalHealthWeek aims to amplify national dialogue on Black maternal health care to drive further research, policy, and community organizing aimed at eliminating racial inequities in health care. Swipe to learn more about how you can help support the movement and share this post with a friend to keep the conversation going! 🗣 * Sources: U.S. ratios (2011-2013): CDC pregnancy mortality surveillance system; global ratios (2015): UNICEF ✨ * #health #activism #youth #blackmamasmatter #blackmaternalhealthweek #reproductiverights #socialjustice #humanrights #feminism #blacklivesmatter #wellness