Black Mothers Matter

Hey friends, It’s ya girl Fancyf3m!

I started my very first blog post off by saying I am a future gynecologist. So, I thought I would finally put a little background into why I want to go into this field of medicine. Not only do I want to be a gynecologist, but I want to be an obstetrician also. Now, my reasoning why I know this is my calling is because…. black women are dying.

Tressie McMillan is phenomenal and her tweets are what keep me sane


Black women are going into labor and not coming out. Doctors take what black women have to say with a grain of salt and women are suffering because of it. Black mothers die at a rate of almost 3 times that of white mothers. Now, this is a better statistic that in past years when it was 4 times more likely, which is absurd. Don’t get me wrong plenty of women, in general, are dying in childbirth, however, it’s predominately black women dying without anyone batting an eye.

https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/magazine/magazine_article/america-is-failing-its-black-mothers/

I have come across a lot of people that try to say that, “Yeah, you read about but how likely is it?” Which always grinds my gears because there they are not listening to black women, yet try to say that it isn’t happening on a broader scale. However, it is something happening around us. Both my grandma and my mother nearly died during childbirth because they weren’t listened to. My mother was in labor for days, DAYS with me. I was stuck in the birth canal and they couldn’t get me out. They tried everything but listen to her. The last day she was in labor her body finally gave up. All of her vital organs shut down and they took her into emergency surgery. While in the operating room they were able to successfully remove me and were completely expecting me to be dead. They were expecting to the point they had Pegasus waiting to take me to UVA. Luckily, I was healthy to their surprise and they were finally able to focus on my mother. She woke up 3 days later and was finally able to meet me but wasn’t allowed to be with me by herself. I broke her pelvis, shut down her organs, and practically drained the life out of her and it all could have been avoided if they just had listened to her and didn’t have this mindset that black women are some sort of super-human that doesn’t feel pain.

My extraordinary mother and I when I was a year old

This mindset is not new. The man that is considered the “father of gynecology” accomplished that title by testing on enslaved black women. J. Marion Sims is known for perfecting a technique to fix the holes between the vagina and the rectum or the bladder, these are called fistulas and can cause incontinence. However, without the women, Sims experimented on without anesthesia or consent, which was irrelevant since their masters said it was okay. Sims tested on tons of women, we only know the names of three of them Anarcha, Lucy, and Betsey. Not only did these women have to go through this excruciating surgery they had to experience it numerous times. It is said that Anarcha went through this surgery over 30 times. Not once with anesthesia, not once with pain killers, not once with consent. J. Marion Sims is not some sort of hero for discovering this like he was recognized as for over 100 years, he was a monster. His statue in front of the NYC School of Medicine was finally taken down on April 17, 2018.

https://www.facebook.com/BYP100/photos/a.577719128946089.1073741828.576628419055160/1550909888293670/?type=3&theater

There are countless stories of doctors using black bodies for their favor, even as recent as this year and nothing is being done. So, this is why I am on the path I am. I am becoming a doctor so women of color can feel safe again. My people are dying because doctors don’t care and that is not okay. So next time you go to your primary health doctor, your gynecologist, or even your OBGYN think of Anarcha or Lucy, think of Henrietta Lacks. Think of all the women that came before you that paved the way for modern medicine.

Stay safe, stay healthy, and stay you.

Tootles,

Fancyf3m

https://media.giphy.com/media/l2YWlo0MetwsqfKJW/giphy.gif

Articles I got my stats and names from

https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2018/04/17/603163394/-father-of-gynecology-who-experimented-on-slaves-no-longer-on-pedestal-in-nyc

https://theglowup.theroot.com/having-a-baby-while-black-natal-is-the-podcast-pregnan-1842884457

If you liked this you’ll LOVE this

https://www.biography.com/scientist/henrietta-lackshttps://www.biography.com/scientist/henrietta-lacks (What many of the information about her online fails to point out is that she found her own tumor)

A phenomenal read!!

https://time.com/5494404/tressie-mcmillan-cottom-thick-pregnancy-competent/

https://shoutoutjmu.com/2018/11/09/why-i-am-afraid-to-give-birth-as-a-black-woman-in-america/

4 thoughts on “Black Mothers Matter

  1. It’s always been so crazy to me how silenced this is and how people don’t think this is a real thing. Thank you so much for bringing light to this!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. it is indeed crazy! I didn’t realize it was so bad until we read the reading that i linked in the post in my sociology class and my white, male peer said it was “boring”.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks was definitely an emotional book. Not even just crying emotional, but the good, bad, ugly, unethical…it’s tough to read but it’s worth a read 110%. For once, the unethical treatment of the black woman’s body was able to become more than just another test subject.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. yes! it is something that will make you so uneasy especially as a woman of color truly opens your eyes to this crazy world we live in

      Like

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