Hey guys! It’s been a minute since I’ve checked in. I found out I was pregnant with baby #2 in January, and spent the a good chunk of this year really sick and extremely tired. Thankfully I’m feeling so much better now! I’ve been able to start planning for life with 2 kids, and it just feels so good to have the energy to do that.
With it being Black Maternal Week, I wanted to share some tips from first pregnancy that helped me as a black, pregnant female. The reality is that black women are dying a much higher rate with childbirth than any other race. So if you’re black and pregnant, it’s a must that you’re proactive during your pregnancy journey. You have to do your research, and you have to learn to advocate for yourself.
1. Get a Doula
I can’t tell you how important it is having women around you that look like you. Having a doula to advocate for you can be a game changer in my opinion. As a first time mom, I was clueless on a lot of things, and having that resource available helped me so much. When you’re in labor, some many things are happening. It can be hard to think clearly in that moment, especially when the contractions begin. You need that someone in the room that’s will have your back; someone that knows the ropes way more than you do. The most important thing is a doula can provide a level of comfort and support that we all need during labor, black or white.
2. Be Flexible
I had my birth plan all set. I knew exactly how I wanted my birthing experience to be. Unfortunately, things didn’t go the way I thought they would. It’s important to be somewhat flexible because you just don’t know what could happen. I went to the hospital thinking I would have a natural birth. Well after 20 hours of labor, I just didn’t have anything left in me so I got an epidural. Some hours after that, my baby’s heart rate started escalating (they were already worried about her heart), and I ended up having a c-section. I was pretty devastated. I had no idea my plan A would become plan C. Planning for the unknown, can be tough. With baby #2, I’m definitely going into this with a more flexible birth plan. I think that will really help my mental state during the whole process.
3. Ask for help
I remember a few days after my daughter got here and my husband telling me, you have to ask for help! He already knew this would hard for me. It’s not always easy for me to ask family and friends for help. However, during that postpartum phase I really had no choice. I could barely move after my c-section, and honestly wouldn’t have made it without my village. You have to ask for help. You will have so much going on physically and emotionally, and you cannot do it alone. Trust me. Things will go a lot smoother for you and baby if you take advantage of the resources that are right in front of you. This go around I plan on actually writing out what I need help with. It makes things a lot easier for my husband, as well as my family that offers to help.