A Message from "Sophia" on Black Women's Maternal Health
If you have read The Time Travels of Annie Sesstry, You've met Sophia, Annie and Emma's mom. Let me introduce you to the person on whom Sophia is based. I celebrate her and all women of African descent who have struggled to give life to future generations. These are her reflections on maternal health among Black women. We cherish our ancestors, but our future generations are dependent on good maternal health care for all women. Thank you for sharing Cydnee.
I am so proud of my friends, allies, and fellow moms who have spoken up during
The fact that black women are 3 to 4 times more likely to die in childbirth is the reality of many factors - systemic racism that has persisted from back when our bodies were used against our will for obstetric experimentation, to the present day, when doctors and health care professionals dismiss our voices because we have been deemed uneducated, uninformed, lazy, or ignorant. Black women cared for and nursed other women’s babies when we weren’t even permitted to care for our own.
My doctors saw me through high-risk pregnancies, high-risk losses, and high-risk deliveries. There were times when I could sense their annoyance as I asked question after question, but this was my life in their hands. Their skills and knowledge unquestionably saved our lives a time or two, but I undoubtedly saved my own as well.
This is one reason why the battle over reproductive rights in this country is so frustrating. Texas has some of the most restrictive reproductive rights in the country. It also has the highest maternal mortality rate in the country, where black women are 2 to 3 times more likely to die from pregnancy complications. Shouldn’t we be focusing on how to save mothers’ lives rather than imposing the death penalty?