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    Why Are Black Mothers Dying After Giving Birth?

    by Ngozi Osuagwu, MD | December 10th, 2017

    Why Are Black Mothers Dying After Giving Birth?

    Last week my husband shared a story that he heard on National Public Radio (NPR) on 12/7/17 titled Black Mothers Keep Dying After Giving Birth. Shalon Irving’s Story Explains Why.  It is a story of a young black woman who died a few weeks after the birth of her first child. She had gone to a health care facility on four separate occasions and was sent home. She collapsed in her home and died.

    What can we learn from this tragic story?

    1. Know your medical history including your family history and make sure that your health care providers are aware of your history.
    2. Listen to your body – I believe that there are times we have a gut feeling that something is just not right. Make sure your health care provider is aware of what is happening.
    3. High blood pressure has serious consequences especially during pregnancy and immediately after pregnancy. If you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure whether you are pregnant or not, you should own a blood pressure monitor.
    4. Do not be afraid to get a second opinion
    5. You are your best advocate – ASK QUESTIONS – do not be afraid, this is your life.

     

    My hope is that one day there will be health equity regardless of age, sex, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation,  ethnicity and race.

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    The book discusses common gynecological and women’s health issues in a series of witty and entertaining letters. These letters, all educational, offer suggestions on what approaches to take in tackling the medical problems that typically bring women to an ob/gynecologist. The letters are spiced with art, a poem and quotes. Although its emphasis is on gynecology and women’s health, it touches on some other medical issues that make women visit their doctors.

    The second half of the book briefly discusses the most common gynecological conditions and also provides an overview of sexually transmitted infections. A list of annotated websites dealing with the different topics in the book is provided for the reader who wants to pursue each subject in depth.




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