Black Maternal Health. A conversation so important, so necessary. And it always strikes a chord with me, not because I've experienced it (personally I don't even feel that's necessary to empathize with the subject) but because I've discussed it on the xoNeceole platform before in my previous article titled, "My Girlfriend Died While Giving Birth To Our Son". It's the story of Amber Issac, who was a victim of this form of negligence. She advocated for herself, she did everything right. But her hospital wouldn't listen.
In fact, her case was at the start if the COVID pandemic, where no one knew what was going on. Ultimately throughout the process, she developed HELLP syndrome and was rushed to the hospital for an emergency C-section, which basically means her blood was too thin and not clotting for the actual C-section, causing it to rush out similar to how water would, when she was cut for the birth. No one was around her, no one listened to her.
And Congresswoman, Cori Bush, took to Twitter to tell her very personal experience with the very same situation.
It’s Black Maternal Health Week, so I want to share my story. When I was 5 months pregnant with my first child, I… https://t.co/elKljC3pen— Congresswoman Cori Bush (@Congresswoman Cori Bush) 1618588480.0
"My son spent the first days of his life on a ventilator, in an incubator, fighting for his life. He just celebrated his 21st birthday, but so many Black children, so many Black mothers, haven't survived.'
"This is an urgent crisis. It has been an urgent crisis. And it's a crisis that the COVID-19 pandemic has only worsened. Protect Black mothers. Protect Black babies. Protect Black maternal and infant health."
And Bush, who is newly elected to office, moves in a loud, unmoved, wavelength. Badassedry is what this queen does—and when she's done, she asks for questions, m'kay?!
She famously referred to Donald Trump as "white supremacist-in-chief."
She rocks with 'The Squad', and she doesn't care who's mad about it.
Squad up. https://t.co/bp2KATL22R— Cori Bush (@Cori Bush) 1609699833.0
She had zero aspirations for politics until it arrived on her front door step.
Prior to being Congresswoman, Bush was a pastor and triage nurse. Her interest in politics began after the 2014 Ferguson riots, involving the death of Mike Brown.
And last but not least, she has directly worked with the current White House administration to end the alarming statistics of maternal negligence for Black women.
Although we have a long way to go to level the playing field for Black women, there has been some progress of being heard. On April 13, the White House announced its first-ever presidential proclamation recognizing Black Maternal Health Week, which Bush advocated for from the start. The proclamation points to the stats that put Black mothers in the United States at a higher risk for pregnancy-related deaths.
In an official statement from the White House, they said:
"Addressing systemic barriers across the board will improve outcomes for Black mothers and their families, and make our entire country stronger, healthier, and more prosperous," it read. "At the same time, the United States must also grow and diversify the perinatal workforce, improve how we collect data to better understand the causes of maternal death and complications from birth, and invest in community-based organizations to help reduce the glaring racial and ethnic disparities that persist in our health care system." -- The White House
Now, this is progress we can get behind.
Thank you for all that you do, Congresswoman!
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Featured image by Cori Bush/Instagram