This is a topic that many women of color (WOC) experience during the course of their pregnancy, in labor, and lastly, delivery.
What is it? Discrimination. Prejudice. Racism.
Whether it’s a nurse is heard saying slick comments. A doctor’s inability to listen to an expectant mother’s pain complaints or concerns. Failing to administer the proper dose of pain meds or any pain meds at all. It’s all detrimental to the health of the mother and unborn child!
Sadly, some of these stories leave trauma behind to overshadow the happiness and joy of having a new baby. Tragically, some stories end in the death of the mother and leave behind motherless children in its wake. Make no mistake about it, ALL of these stories are horrific!
Story here of Judge Hatchet’s daughter-in-law that passed away from inadequate healthcare while in the hospital delivering her baby.
While on FB, I learned about a story of a mother giving birth to her 2nd child. First, the nurse placed the IV wrong, nicking an artery, and causing the mother burning pain. Then, the cries for help and pain intolerance went unnoticed when the mother felt the need to push. Being that she’s had a baby before, she knew what to expect and when something was wrong.
Thankfully, the mother had her own mother there to advocate for her and get some help to finally alleviate the pain. In this story, the mother didn’t die. However, the neglect and even slick comments made by the nursing staff were totally uncalled for, unprofessional, and unnecessary!
The expectant mother stated that the best thing she did for herself was to have her own mother there, who advocated for her until she got someone to pay attention to her daughter’s concerns.
These stories are just a snippet of some things that happen while many WOC deliver their babies. Imagine the stories that are out there that many WOC does not share with each other or refusing to report to someone. Imagine the trauma from their experiences and how that can contribute to their postpartum recovery or even their postpartum depression.
Questions That Need Answers:
Are WOC incapable of voicing their pain and obvious neglect by hospital staff, and in turn, aren’t taken seriously?
Why does there have to be a 3x higher mortality rate in WOC than their white counterparts?
How is it that a person’s race becomes more important than the business of safely delivering a baby? A newly minted human being, untouched by hate and unaware of the world they were born into.
More importantly, how are these people (nurses and doctors) allowed to keep their jobs continuing the chances for neglect to someone else?
Why is it allowed? How is it acceptable?
What causes it to continue?
A Rant in my Spirit:
I am disgusted that people are so selfish, entitled, and close-minded that this is even something that has to be said… Women of Color (WOC) ARE PEOPLE TOO!!!
SEE them. HEAR them. ACKNOWLEDGE them. UNDERSTAND them. RELATE to them. Damn!
Why is it so hard to remember that skin color doesn’t define a person’s character, attitude, beliefs, or morals. It has nothing to do with why that WOC is at the hospital right now.
But, guess what?! She’s not there for your racism. She’s not there for your neglect. She’s not there to ruin your day. She’s not there b/c she felt like being there. She’s not there b/c she wants to inconvenience you. IT AIN’T ABOUT YOU!
She’s there to have a baby. She’s there to receive medical help and intervention to have the baby safely. Dats it!
Let’s talk about how this ruins you in a professional space! Is this superior attitude or sense of entitlement worth you losing your career? Is it worth you losing money?
You literally make those who strive to go above and beyond in your professions look bad. It takes away from everything you stand for both personally and professionally.
I mean, this attitude diminishes everything! It’s demeaning. It’s damaging. It devalues the experience. It tarnishes the profession. Get it now?!
Why is this coming up now?
Simple. One day, that will be me giving birth to a beautiful baby and the last thing I want… is for this life-changing experience to be tainted by the neglect, lack of professionalism, and fuckery of a closet racist hidden among the hospital staff.
Word of Advice:
WOC – If you are going to the hospital to have a baby, please have someone there that can advocate your wants and needs, clearly and effectively. Have them by your side the whole time. If anything goes awry such as slick comments, harmful treatment, neglect; have your appointed person document things and then report their asses to the doctors, managers, the board of health, hospital administration… EVERYONE! It’s vital so that those people can be dealt with properly and nobody else is subjected to this poor treatment.
If you on the hospital staff treating WOC this way – FIND ANOTHER JOB! That nursing or doctor career isn’t for you any longer, so QUIT! If not and the harmful behavior continues, you will find yourself in court, without a license/certification, and fired!
I believe if you did it to one WOC, you will do it again, especially if you haven’t been caught. People come to the hospital to deliver a baby, not to experience negative and harmful treatment during an already stressful time. Get it together or LEAVE!
Bottom line: When you walk a mile in the other person’s shoes, how would it make you feel to be treated this way during what’s supposed to be an exciting time?