Approximately 700 women die each year due to pregnancy related deaths in the US.
The United States has the highest maternal mortality rate among developed nations.
With the stats that have been brought to light about the increased pregnancy mortality rate among black women, ways to improve your pregnancy outcomes are very important.
You have to arm yourself with the appropriate tools to advocate for your pregnancy.
How can pregnant women be advocates for their pregnancies?
Choose your doctor wisely. Because your life and the life of your baby may very well depend on it. In an era where sometimes we are often dismissed or silenced, I want you take the time to choose a doctor who is compassionate and who will listen. They not only have your life in their hands but also the life of your baby. It can be a referral from a friend or you may have read amazing reviews. Either way, take the choice seriously.
“Any questions?” I ask this at the end of every visit and patients will always say I had questions but now I forgot. Prepare your questions and write them down so you can have them answered at your appointment.
Have a Doula or support person
There are studies that show that having a support person during your care and labor can improve outcomes. A doula can help with emotional support, can help explain some of the labor processes, help with pain and can speak up for you when needed.
If your provider presents a plan to you ask for information about it so you can read up on it. Ask why a certain procedure needs to be done. Are there alternatives?
Get a second opinion
It’s ok to get a second opinion if you have concerns about your care.
If something doesn’t seem right to you, or you are worried about something, then say something. Voice your concerns and let your voice be heard.
And if your provider doesn’t listen to you or take you seriously, find a new provider.