I sit here tonight as a mother of three children that have spent what seemed to be endless days in the NICU and as an African American mother. I have noticed that there is a need for awareness for premature infants and a cry for help for support from minorities. We make up majority of preterm births globally and yet there is a need for education on this topic in low income areas. Why is that?
Why is it that every time we turn on the television we see ads on premature infants and infant death mortality but there is no support in the areas that need it most. During my time in Houston, Texas I was having preterm contractions and was refused the Progesterone shot treatment to prevent preterm contractions. I had to relocate to California at 30 weeks’ gestation to receive the proper treatment and still had my daughter, London, at 34 weeks’ gestation in 2014. Medical treatment with or without insurance should not matter when it comes to saving an unborn child life. Did her life not matter?
At this time, I did have insurance so that was no excuse to why I did not receive it. I have had the same shot treatment for 3 pregnancies and ended with the same result……The NICU. According to an article I found on CDC.gov non-Hispanic black preterm babies consist of 13.39% of preterm births in 2015 compared to 8.8% non-Hispanic white preterm babies. Hispanic preterm infants are 9.13% of preterm infants born before 37 weeks nationally.
I make this promise to all my mothers of preterm infants that we will come together and support one another and bring a platform where we can all unite and empower one another. Our trials from the NICU doesn’t end the moment we are discharged and walk out of the hospital with our baby. We all share a story and want to tell it and I am here to tell you that it needs to be heard. Numbers show that even the educated black woman with the best jobs still are facing high premature infant rates. Why is that? Why is there not enough research being conducted in small communities to see what is triggering these high preterm birth rates.
Every day is a struggle to be a minority in America. Maybe living in this society is enough high tension to send a black mother into preterm labor. 1 in every 3 black men are in jail during some point in their lifetime. If the pregnant mother is going under undo stress from her child’s father being incarnated is that not enough to send a mother into preterm labor? With everything going on in American right now I think it is safe to say that not every black man that is arrested is a criminal.
Let’s take into the fact that she is pregnant and having complications and cannot keep up with her bills. With an overdue electricity notice or rent notice not put a woman under undo stress? Let’s talk about the mother that has children already and is struggling because she is on bedrest to take care of her children but there is nobody that she can turn to because in our culture you have to be strong at all times. There is no room for weakness, nor hand-outs.
Let’s talk about why we are having babies at high rates in low income communities and why the previous efforts didn’t work. I promise to dig into the facts and figure out a way to help support the mothers who need it most and can’t get the support they need. Glo Preemies will not only find a way to get the nation attention but to make sure that we all talk about it. If we help our mothers when the stress begins to become just too much maybe, just maybe, we can finally decline the rates of preterm births of our beautiful babies.
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