The Significance of Support for Black Expecting Mothers

The Significance of Support for Black Expecting Mothers

Support is the catalyst for a healthy happy journey

Photo by: Jameel Pugh

One thing that is essential to mothers is support! Whether it comes from family, friends, or a partner, it truly makes a difference in the trajectory of your motherhood experience. Pregnancy comes with ups and downs, and mothers tend to have an excess amount of emotions that require assurance that everything will be okay.

As much as support is vital during your pregnancy, it is just as imperative when your little one arrives. Initially, most mothers are flooded with the joys of their babies learning to crawl, hold their bottle, and walk. Other times, you may feel weighed down by the late nights and early mornings or sheer exhaustion from having to be everything to your tiny human. Every feeling you experience is valid.

I sat down with mother of the BMU program, Liyniesha Andrews, who expressed something I’m sure other mothers can relate to when she stated, “It’s not a village anymore.” It takes a village to raise a child is a supposed African proverb about children being raised and mothers having access to community support. Many share this sentiment, but community help looks different these days but is out there. Yet, I do still understand Ms. Andrews’s response.

Studies show that the lack of social support for expecting mothers increases the risk of developing anxiety and stress-related conditions. If you think about not having support before becoming pregnant and its effects on you, it’s easy to comprehend why the result would be much worse for expecting mothers.

We are in a time when people are less present due to family dynamics; many work multiple jobs, and COVID-19’s social distancing protocols have created separation from the people we need most. The key thing is to remember that you do not have to be on this journey alone.

Photo by: Jameel Pugh

Ms. Andrews stated being thankful for her partner and his support. Because of this, she explained, “I love everything about this experience. I hear it’s much more difficult as a single parent, so I am happy he’s able to be there and be fully engaged.”

According to a New York Times article, mothers who have a supportive partner during pregnancy encounter less stress and minimize their exposure to postpartum depression. It also strengthens your bond with your partner, which is especially important to continue your life together. Kids bring on lots of challenges and naturally, change the foundation of your relationship and can for the better.

I know it can sometimes feel hopeless for those who are single mothers, but that’s where local groups and organizations come in. Organizations like our very own Black Mothers United have served as a continuing helpful presence for mothers to receive resources and provide access to proper care.  There are much more locally and online as well.

It truly does take a village. While that village may not be full of our grandmothers, friends, and neighbors as much, community support is still significant in reducing a mother’s pregnancy and postpartum challenges.

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