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.
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.