celebs can help change maternal health outcomes

I began my journey into the maternal wellness world as a concierge service for new and expecting moms which progressed to becoming a Postpartum Doula which I absolutely LOVED and led me to expand my services by starting Milk + Honey Co. as a breastfeeding peer counselor for ROSE.

I knew during pregnancy and the challenges I faced that I wanted to help Moms navigate through motherhood. One of my favorite singers, LeToya Luckett Walker, delivered her baby girl Gianna with husband Tommy Walker and demented their journey in a realty series. There is so much excellence wrapped up in their love.

And it is love.

LeToya recently shared how she used a doula for the birth of her daughter.

According to the article LeToya resisted the assistance of a doula up until her last trimester when she moved to Texas where she didn’t have much family around. And it was the best decision as she described.

Maternal Heath outcomes for women in the US than any other developed country. (WHO)

  • Every day, approximately 830 women die from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth.
  • 99% of all maternal deaths occur in developing countries.
  • Maternal mortality is higher in women living in rural areas and among poorer communities.
That last part. Sad.

Yes, this means Black women have the highest rates of maternal mortality in the United States of America.

“It’s basically a public health and human rights emergency because it’s been estimated that a significant portion of these deaths could be prevented,” said Dr. Ana Langer, director of the Women and Health Initiative at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston.

I’m sure one thing comes to mind but I’ll start with the latter first..

  • Lack of access and poor quality of care are leadings factors, particularly among women at lower socioeconomic levels.
  • Lack of culturally competent staff
  • Heart disease and stroke
  • African-American women are entering pregnancy less healthy than other women

And the largest factor of them all. I’m just a black woman, periodT.

“Basically, black women are undervalued. They are not monitored as carefully as white women are. When they do present with symptoms, they are often dismissed.” (Boston Public Health)

With all of these factors there has been a major push to change the US Healthcare system when it comes to women giving birth starting with New York. Senator Elizabeth Warren has introduced penalties for hospitals not actively reducing the mortality rates amongst black women but I have my opinion on that, it will cause more harm than good.

I’ll wait.

Until then, women in black communities must rely on birth workers such as Doulas and Midwives for the best maternal

outcomes and their winning.

photo courtesy LG Doula

Having a doula before, during and after birth greatly increases your chances for a healthy birth. Doula-assisted mothers were four times less likely to have a low birth weight baby, two times less likely to experience a birth complication involving themselves or their baby, and significantly

more likely to initiate breastfeeding. (NIH)

(Photo courtesy of Pinterest)

Communication with and encouragement from a doula throughout your pregnancy may increase the mother’s self-efficacy regarding her ability to impact her own pregnancy outcomes. (NIH)

Having major celebrities like LeToya, Beyoncé and Serena Williams, who almost died because hospital staff ignored her concerns, utilize and SHARE their doula experiences is the push we need to normalize and stabilize motherhood for new moms.

You may ask how can a celebrity help…

1. Celebrities influence purchases

Frankly, we listen when celebs talk. If it’s a celeb we adore and they endorse a product or service, we think “If it’s good for her then it’s good for me” A celebrity recommendation for using doulas and birth-workers could carry a lot of weight with the general public and it adds instant credibility.

2. Brings awareness to the doula community.

Celebrities bring awareness to causes that most people aren’t experiencing in their daily lives such as maternal mortality, diseases, injustices and more. They have the power to “break the internet” around a subject more quickly than other outlets of advertising. Celebrities can do much to enhance the awareness and understanding of what a doula can do for mothers.

3. Puts doulas in the spotlight.

Celebrities highlighting the use of doulas puts the best possible light in the minds of new mothers. So much can go wrong during childbirth but we must highlight what goes right when you use a doula. Doulas are used for evidence based emotional support and will give you all your options to give you an informed birthing decisions. They are your advocate during pregnancy and after.

4. Gives hope.

Motherhood is filled with so much fear. The same system that creates that fear is the same system that mothers turn to during childbirth. Celebs sharing their stories of utilizing a doula and the positive effects it has on Mom and baby gives another mom the choice of informed options and most of all hope that all will turn out fine.

5. Everyone will do it.

We STAN hard for our favorite musicians and movie stars. Pretty much whatever they do everyone will do it.

If you’re a pregnant mom and particularly a pregnant Black mom, I implore you to consider the possibility of using a doula. Doulas and Midwives are becoming more mainstreamed with private practice clinics opening in every major city. Having the best options and being informed on what the hospital can or cannot tell you on how to have your baby.

We deserve the right to freedom in all aspects of our life but especially freedom to do as we choose as mothers with our bodies.

****the opinions expressed in this piece are just that, MY two cents

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