July 19-25, 2020, marks the 2nd Black Maternal Mental Health Week, thanks to the Shades of Blue Project. With the Black Lives Matter Movement protesting for anti-racist advocacy, it has also raised awareness of other racial inequalities throughout the country, such as racial disparities in the health care system for BIPOC/BIWOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color/Women of Color). Cases like the death of Sha’asia Washington (in Brooklyn, NY) occur more often than many care to admit. The US healthcare system often provides inadequate care for BIWOC (and BIPOC), particularly Black women. In addition to enduring subpar prenatal healthcare, Black mothers are less likely to receive mental health care, especially postpartum. The narrative of “Black women are strong” used in the Tuskegee Experiment, attributes to the reasons Black women suffer instead of getting the needed care like their white counterparts.
I have two toddlers, ages 2 and 3 1/2, during both pregnancies I was diagnosed with Hyperemesis Gravidarum or HG, which is a pregnancy illness that includes severe nausea, vomiting, weight loss, and electrolyte disturbance. My pregnancy experience with HG caused a lot of mental anguish and resulted in my decision to tie my tubes (despite wanting more children).
During my first pregnancy, I was ready to embrace the joy that comes with pregnancy that so many people raved about. Then Week 9 came, and my perfect pregnancy ended abruptly. It would be another few months before I would be diagnosed with HG. The delay in my diagnosis was because…
The article is found here on HER Foundation’s Website The Struggles of the Unknown of HG