Advocates call attention to dangers pregnant women of color face

Health

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE)- Women of color across the country are two to three times more likely to die from complications in the delivery room.

Just this week, President Joe Biden signed a proclamation deeming this past week as Black Maternal Health Week. Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have acknowledged the racial disparities in the delivery room that prevent women of color from getting proper care.

Counselor and first-time mom Julissa Edwards of Charlotte says these statistics are one of the reasons she researched doula support for her pregnancy.

“I needed an ally,” Edwards explained. “I wanted someone who was going to help me create a birth plan and help me stick to the birth plan.”

She even though she has great support from her family and husband, she was afraid of encountering bias in while delivering her first child.

“My husband is also Jamaican. My fear was like okay, here we are two black individuals having a baby for the first time not knowing all the things. I was like I just to be as ready as possible.”

Charlotte-based doula Denawa Alberti, of Double Dose Wellness, has been doing her best to ease the minds of moms.

She said she got into the doula business after learning mothers need way more support than they were getting.

“People of color are already predisposed to other health conditions and other health concerns,” Alberti began… “Which already plagues people of color at a higher risk when they are pregnant.”

According to Alberti, preeclampsia and high blood pressure are just some of the downfalls a mothers faces in the delivery room.

She and Edwards are urging moms to not only advocate for themselves in the doctor’s office, but research support options to help safely bring their little ones into the world.

To learn more about Black Maternal Health Week, check out Black Mamas Matter Alliance here.

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