A big problem is that when we sense something is not right in pregnancy, childbirth, or postpartum, we alert medical caregivers who do not listen. Healthcare advocates report a gender bias where doctors listen to men more seriously than they do to women. We see women are often ignored, but black women’s complaints regarding pain are dismissed at a greater rate than white women.
When asked about this in a CBS interview, Dr. Neel Shah, a professor of obstetrics at Harvard Medical School, and a practicing physician said, “This is going to be hard to hear: we believe black women less when they express concerns about the symptoms they’re having, particularly around pain.”
Looking into cases of medical mismanagement, moms and dads speak up, but are not heard quickly enough. Not being heard quickly enough results in near death experiences and, unfortunately, mortality. Please watch here for to understand this more deeply https://www.cbsnews.com/news/maternal-mortality-an-american-crisis/
So what do we do?
1. Vehemently Trust Your Instinct
It does not matter that your concern was dismissed, do not shut up until it is thoroughly looked into.
During pregnancy, and especially during birth and after birth have 2-3 people who are dedicated to advocating for you. Here you want people who have as much medical knowledge as possible and the most demanding personalities. Someone who loves you, but is shy or a strong rule follower is not the person to choose.
3. Remember This is Your Life, Your Baby
The doctor cannot feel your pain. Do not minimize your pain. I recommend being very clear about the pain and stating that it is not normal.
In the seventh month many, babies turn to their birth position - head down. For some babies, it will take until the ninth month. It is better for mom and baby that baby turn in the seventh or eighth month. Here are natural ways to encourage baby.
If you know your baby is not in position by week 30
The danger zone 9th month to 3 weeks postpartum
Aphrodite Project is infused with the positive. Your process of bringing this baby into the world is going to be one of ease, safety, and love. To get there, however, we must survey the land to know where the pitfalls are. This article focuses on the pitfalls.
Once you are past hearing the heartbeat, you are past the most delicate time of your pregnancy. If you keep up with the Aphrodite Project in eating, moving, meditating, and unwinding - you avoid most risk factors for complications and birth challenges.
Month 9 to 3 weeks postpartum is the danger zone because if concerns go unchecked, those concerns are likely to become life or death for mom and baby.
Remember above all, your intuition does not lie. If you feel something is off, it is!
Top concerns during this time:
Preeclampsia and eclampsia
How to avoid the danger zone:
No sugar, grains, rice, bread, pasta, potatoes, sweets
Rest A LOT - if you think you are resting too much, you are almost resting as much as you need to - PLEASE rest too much
During the end of your pregnancy do your best to do the following:
It is an EMERGENCY if:
Remember in an emergency, black women, more than any other race, are not listened to, their complaints are minimized - you must advocate strongly and have someone with you who can advocate for you. Your internal wisdom is more educated than a doctor. It knows things medical school cannot teach you. ALWAYS trust it.
Once labor begins - including prelabor do not:
Immediate medical attention
In the seventh month, begin counting your baby’s kicks. Your doctor or midwife will ask you to count your baby’ kicks sometime this month or the next. It is good to start counting daily to make you familiar with baby’s habits and personality.
Sit down in a comfortable place, put your legs up if you can. Count how many movements you feel in 30 minutes.
It helps to choose a time of day when baby is active. Place your hand on your belly. See how long it takes to feel 10 movements. If baby is sleeping, drinking water, moving around, music, or a glass of orange juice will wake him.
In his waking period, most babies will have 10 -15 movements within 15 minutes.
Bed rest is prescribed limitations on your movement to preserve the health of the baby and mom. Occasionally, a woman is put on full bed rest with her movement completely curtailed and work stopped. Other times, it is a modified lifestyle including less activity and movement outside the house with frequent rest periods. Either way, abide by bed rest for yourself and the baby. Most often bed rest is temporary.
When in a period of activity restriction, be sure to continue healthy eating habits and hydration. Also, stretch frequently to loosen your muscles and tendons. Try to do activities you find relaxing, to recharge and fortify the body.
Bed rest is most frequently required to:
Edema is the retention of fluid in the ankles, legs, and sometimes feet and hands. It is a normal part of pregnancy; however read below for signs that the swelling indicates a medical emergency called preeclampsia. And it is always a good idea to notify your doctor or midwife if you experience swelling.
Steps to Alleviate Swelling
If you have any of the signs below, see your midwife or doctor. Have her assess you for preeclampsia. If you do not have one, go to the emergency room. This is a life or death condition. It is imperative that the healthcare provider takes you seriously. See article on preeclampsia.
Warning signs of preeclampsia:
Julia Erickson, the founder of Aphrodite Project, is a wellness authority who uses food, meditation, and movement to create extraordinary health and wellness. Julia's practice is focused on helping women thrive and heal from chronic disease. She is also mother of seven.