How the medical System fails black women: The effects of racism on the health of black women during and after pregnancy.
Tshidi Mathalise How the medical System fails black women: The effects of racism on the health of black women during and after pregnancy. There has been a rise in maternal deaths in the United States. The infant mortality rate for Black Americans is 13.7 deaths per 1000 live births, more than twice the rate for White Americans (5.7). These statistics clearly show that black women are two times more likely to die in childbirth than white women. While poverty, the lack of prenatal care, and not having access to good medical facilities all play a role, racism (subconscious or conscious) also plays a big role in these saddening statistics. This paper will focus on systemic racism in the medical system in the United States. More specifically it will highlight thoughts and ideas doctors and other medical professionals have expressed about black women, especially regarding how they experience pain. In addition, this paper will offer stories of families who have lost their black wives and daughters due to medical biases, with particular attention to those of women who received unprofessional medical treatment and whose plea continue to fall on “deaf ears.” Finally, this paper relates my story as a black mom to a newborn who is now 6 months old. I attempt to remove the veil of a “perfect” birthing experience. With all this I hope to demonstrate that there is a me in you and you in me; and that maternity-related medical bias, which disproportionately affects black women, is a humanitarian issue whose resolution requires the attention and advocacy of all