Pregnancy Hesitancy as a 30-something Black Woman

Pregnancy Hesitancy as a 30-something Black Woman

Black women are experiencing complications during and after pregnancy at an unbelievable rate, and it frightens me.

My fears ranged from spiders to horror films growing up. Typical right? It would be nice if my concerns remained inconsequential, but as time progressed, I became more aware of my existence, and that brought on a new set of fears I never considered.

I am a 30-something, Black woman, who would like to get pregnant sometime in the next few years, but the harsh reality of the Black maternal mortality crisis doesn’t sit well with me. I go in and out of being terrified and optimistic.

The expectation that this time in my life, I would be embracing such a life-altering event, yet here I am conflicted troubles me.

To have a baby or not to have a baby

I’ve witnessed so many women have what appeared to be pleasant pregnancy experiences easing my anxiety, but the statistics prove that this is not the case for everyone. To think that the maternal mortality rate among Black women is higher due in part to the racial disparities we face is not only heartbreaking but gut-wrenching.

Black women already deal with more stressors than the average non-Black woman. Our concerns about our bodies often go untreated or are downplayed even when we’re not pregnant. So to have these instances occur during pregnancy is a huge reason why I hesitate at the thought of conceiving. This issue is not something that many women are even aware of.

Society teaches us that motherhood is a sacred birthright but omits the complexities it entails.

However, learning that we have options to not only have a healthy pregnancy, but a safe delivery has begun to shift my views. Programs like Black Mothers United and the services they provide are increasingly improving statistics more and more every day. Knowing that I can have support through each step of pregnancy has quieted those fears a bit.

The hope is that as more people become aware of the high mortality rates, more services across the country will center Black women and help us overcome this crisis.

What can you take away from this?

If you are a woman that is pregnant or considering pregnancy, it’s ok to feel uneasy and afraid, but there is help and support out there. It doesn’t altogether remove the nuances of being a Black woman and all that comes with that. Still, pregnancy support equips you with the knowledge and understanding that you too can have a positive experience. I plan to use all the resources I can find when it is my time and make the most out of this because we deserve just like anybody else.

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