How We Can Lower Infant Mortality in the Black Community

While most childbirths go as planned, sometimes things do go awry leading to infant mortality.

Infant death rate has been going down in the USA considerably but still it is not a well-balanced phenomenon. The child mortality rate of African American children is more than double the rate of Caucasian babies. African American mothers suffer from high infant mortality rates caused by several problems among which low birth weight and premature birth are top most.

We will discuss some ways to lower the child mortality rate for African American mothers. Many of these ways are pretty simple and will eventually sure that you never have to face such a situation in your life.

Mother’s Diet and Overall Health

A mother’s health has a HUGE impact on how healthy their baby is upon birth. Their diet is incredibly important too. A mother’s overall health and diet can be the sole determining criterion in whether a baby lives or dies – it’s that vital. It’s not advised that mothers make dramatic changes to their exercise or diet routines during pregnancy, although if you want a good diet guide, we highly recommend checking out HealthVI.org’s review of The Venus Factor. It’s not perfect, but it’s a step in the right direction towards a healthy, safe diet/exercise program for mother’s to follow during pregnancy.

Early Care in Pregnancy

Proper prenatal care is necessary for the health of the baby and the mother both. Studies have indicated that African American women do not get similar levels of healthcare advice or assistance. It is essential to seek medical help or see a doctor as soon as you discover you are pregnant.

Proper Age of Pregnancy

Getting pregnant too early or too late creates birth complications. Women develop physically to bear a child from age 20 onward. Before that they are malnourished, and their reproductive organs do not develop properly. Older women over 40 years old may find their physical capabilities for conceiving improper. They may suffer from malnutrition, anemia and may not be capable of having another child after several earlier births.

Space out Pregnancy Years

Babies who are born within two years of a previous delivery have higher chances of complications or death. It is best to wait for 3 to 5 years after giving birth before proceeding to have another baby.

Take Help of Family Support Workers (home visitation programs)

Some localities have home visitations programs where mothers can sign up. It is a good way to get help from medical, social and child developments professionals to get an education and improve family’s health make way for a better delivery. The support is available for all stages of pregnancy and after it.

Proper Family Planning Advice and Methods

Good family planning advice and methods should be practiced for lowering the mortality rate among infants. Visit family planning programs and follow their recommendations for a healthy pregnancy. Also, use of contraceptives has shown to have an adverse impact on mortality rates according to research.

General Tips: Here are some other tips that you will need to remember if you’re pregnant.

• Take a vitamin along with 400 micro-grams of folic acid each day

• Avoid any form of intoxication like cigarettes, alcohol and other drugs

• Seek healthcare assistance and disclose any medical condition you have and your medicine use

• Maintain a healthy and balanced diet

• Avoid any material which may be harmful to you or the baby at home and office

• Avoid unprepared meat and do not take pasteurized milk and its products

• Maintain cleanliness. Wash your hands and keep your surroundings clean so that you do not develop any disease that can impact the baby’s health

The Changes To Expect During The Different Stages Of Pregnancy

Counting from the first day of your last normal period, then pregnancy should last for about 40 weeks. The weeks are group into three trimesters. During this weeks, a mother will experience some changes and so will the unborn baby. Here is a look at what to expect.

First trimester (week 1-week 12)

There are changes your body will undergo during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. The hormonal change you will go through affects almost every organ system in the body. The changes can trigger symptoms as early as the first week of pregnancy. The most visible change that shows you are pregnant is your period stopping.

Extreme tiredness and tender, swollen breasts are the other changes. In some cases, the nipples stick out. You may also experience upset stomach and sometimes throw up (morning sickness), but distaste and cravings for certain foods are inevitable. Most women will constipate, experience headaches and heartburn. During the first trimester, you should also expect to have mood swings and lose or gain weight.

As you experience these changes, you may also have to make changes to your daily routine. They include going to bed early, eating small meals or eating frequently. Fortunately, as your pregnancy progresses, you will not experience most of these discomforts. There are also other women who won’t feel any pain at all.

Second trimester (week 13-week 28)

The second trimester is easier than the first one for most women. However, it is equally important to be informed about the changes you will experience during these months. As the baby continues to grow so will your abdomen. In fact, before the end of this trimester, your baby will start moving.

As your body changes to make room for a growing baby, you will experience body aches such as thigh pain, groin, back, and abdomen. Stretch marks on your breasts, buttocks, thighs, and abdomen will also start to surface. The darkening of the skin around your nipples and the line from the belly button to pubic hair will now start being visible. Most women will also have patches of darker skin on the forehead, cheeks, upper lip or nose. These Patches often match on both sides of your face. Most mothers experience the carpal tunnel syndrome which comes out as numb or tingling hands during the second trimester. Some will swell in their fingers, ankles and face while others will have a tender abdomen, sole of the feet or palm.

Third trimester (week 29-week 40)

In this stage, you will experience a continuation of some of the discomforts in the second trimester. However, some women have difficulty in breathing and have to go to the bathroom more often than before. As a result of the pressure put on your organs by the growing baby. However, there are also other new changes you should expect.

Heartburn and swelling of the ankles, fingers, and the face will carry on to this stage. However, your tender breast may start leaking colostrum (watery pre-milk). You will have trouble sleeping, and your belly button will stick out. Contractions are also inevitable, and it is at this stage that you will feel the baby moving in the lower abdomen.

The cervix becoming thinner and softer is an indication that you are near your due date. This process helps the birth canal open during the birthing process. However, if you experience extreme changes during the three trimesters, then you should consult your doctor.

What They Don’t Tell You About Raising An African-American Baby

 

Raising a black child in a white-privileged world can be challenging. The world tries to embrace people of color, but nevertheless, the white dominance and black stereotyping are still common phenomena. In other words, raising a white child in America is way easier than an African-American. Here is what they do not tell you about raising an African-American baby:

  •  Pregnancy and nurturing a child are influenced by factors such as race, ethnicity, income, age and most importantly the health of the woman.

An Africa-America baby faces trouble from the time of conception. Even with human rights activists fighting to see racial discrimination a past tense, the life of a black child is in danger way before they are born.

In America, a country that has endorsed people of color to a point of having Obama as president, black women face disparity when it comes to accessing health care. The condition is worsened by the area they live. In black hamlets and ghettos, the disparity is way overboard.

Making sure that you have an open hospital in your neighborhood will go a long way in ensuring a healthy pregnancy and baby afterward. Every human deserves the best medical care and skin color should not be the determinant.

Most people believe that maternal mortality is typical of third world countries. Surprisingly, the phenomenon could be happening next door. The black community has a strong connection to material things than with their babies. The fact they are already a marginalized community stimulates the need to create a better life for their children. They get attached to work and religious activities and forget to know their children.

This secure connection overrules the need for a healthier pregnancy period. You focus more on providing the future and forget the importance of today. White people are more likely to attend clinics, join mothers club, and prepare for their baby than black women. Research shows that the lifestyle of a mother is what determines the term of the pregnancy. A workaholic woman is likely to have a preterm birth than a lady who is in more control of her baby welfare.

Visit your doctor regularly. Learn everything about pregnancy and babies. Living in America does not make your child immune to SIDS. Your child should be your top most priority.

  • African-American children have a higher incidence of poor vision than the general population.

As we were told by Dr. Fadel of Sugar Land Eye Professionals, African-American Children have a higher rate of poor vision than the general population. This makes it absolutely essential that you get your child’s eyes examined at a young age to make sure they aren’t having difficulty seeing the world the way the rest of us see it.

  • Child-rearing is what determines the kind of man or woman your baby grows up to become.

Many Afro-American parents impose their will on their children while their white counterparts teach their children the importance of independence. Black babies are raised with a stigma that the world is out to get them. White kids grow knowing that they can concur the world.

Why this disparity?

The thing is white children are brought up with a clear distinction of freedom and choice. A white person is much more likely to go for natural things whereas a black person will aim to look like their white counterparts. The authoritative parenting in Africa-America children is what leads to a black child wanting and imitating the white life. Teaching your child acceptance and taking pride in their color is of utmost important.

  •  An African-American child is better off with natural hair and skin.

In modeling their children to “look white,” parents fail miserably. Since they are too busy working or were too busy during pregnancy to attend culturally congruent care sessions, they fail to realize the importance of raising an individual. They forget natural ways of raising a baby. They focus more on raising a “white-ish” baby. They have no idea how to handle the mass tangled black hair of their children. They fail to take in the fact that yes skin color matters, but it does not have to.

Raising an Afro-American child does not to be hectic. Bring up your child in the right ways, right from pregnancy to adulthood. Help the child survive the racism perpetuated society with a healthy child upbringing.

How Long Should You Breastfeed Your Child After Birth?

There have been so many concerns about how long a mother should breastfeed her infant after birth. There have been different theories and explanations, some confusing, others far-fetched. Well here is the answer to this question.

Mothers are different, and there are those that enjoy breastfeeding. If you are among them, then you can continue breastfeeding for as long as you and your baby want to. This means that you can breastfeed your child until she is a year or even as long as two years. You should only stop breastfeeding when both of you are ready.

Most women have set goals to breastfeed their babies for between three months and a year. However, in many parts of the world, babies are frequently breastfed for two years or longer in other cases. But the period you take to breastfeed will solely depend on your decision. Breastfeeding also comes from the heart and the mind. So how you feel emotionally and the personal circumstances should push you into making the decision.

Recommended period

Although the time you should breastfeed your child depends on your preference, it is recommended that you should try to give your baby nothing but breast milk until she is six months old. Doing this will give your child a healthy start in life. You can still carry on breastfeeding your baby even when she is ready to try her first solid food after six months.

Handling the challenges

Different challenges drive a mother into stopping to breastfeed her baby. Most women think breastfeeding will make their breasts lose shape while others are too busy at work to breastfeed. You shouldn’t stop breastfeeding before the right time comes. Most of the women successfully express breast milk and combine breast and bottle-feeding, although it takes a little of planning.

Nothing should stop you from breastfeeding your child. Continuing to do so helps a mother maintain a close relationship with her baby. In fact, breastfeeding your baby may help both of you cope with the inevitable daytime separation.

Advice

Breastfeeding should not always be a decision made and practiced by the mother. It is advisable that a partner gives the parent support in the decision making. Friends and family can also come in to make it much easier for you to continue breastfeeding your baby for as long as you want to. In some cases, friends and family pressurize moms to stop breastfeeding before the baby is ready. You should not give in to negative influence from the people around you. The health of your baby lies in your hands.

Babies, on the contrary, can be different. There are those that may be feeding around the clock and make a mother feel like it needs to stop. It is important to understand that your baby will cut back on her feeding as she gets older. The first few weeks if breastfeeding may be harsh to many mothers, but those who persevere and go through it end up being glad they did. In fact, as you continue breastfeeding, you will find that the friends and family who were a source of support are no longer valuable as far as breastfeeding is concerned.

When is a C-Section Necessary, and When Is It Not?

When is a C-Section Necessary, and When Is It Not?

While most childbirths are healthy, some are not. If complications arise during pregnancy, doctors often recommend a c-section. Do not worry if you or your loved ones been advised a c-section; it’s more common than you think and safe.

What is it?

C-Section or the Cesarean delivery is one of the standard methods of delivery. The doctor takes the baby out by cutting the abdomen and uterus. The surgery is conducted for 32.7% of all births, though the rate should be around 10 to 15%. WHO releases the statistics, and it also holds the surgical process responsible for possible disability and even death for the other. The best method is the vaginal delivery where a baby is pushed out naturally from the vagina.

Cases where C-Section is required

C-Section should only occur when it is medically necessary. It is a surgery which assists the mother to have a proper delivery where there are risks with vaginal delivery or cases where it is not possible. Your doctor will determine the decision of delivery method after judging various issues and medical conditions of the mother and the baby.

C-Section should not be regularly used because of its convenience. It is only applicable when the regular delivery cannot be done. The following cases may require a C-Section for a safe delivery and promote the health of the mother and child.

Health conditions of Mother

Certain health conditions may make normal delivery difficult for you. C-Section may opt if

• Any health condition like heart problems makes vaginal delivery a risk

• You have high blood pressure where the baby needs Delivery quickly

• Vaginal birth may spread an infection like genital herpes or HIV to the baby

Position of the Baby

The position of the baby in the uterus or the placenta may make vaginal delivery dangerous. Your doctor may prescribe C-Section if:

• The position of the baby is feet first instead of head first

• There are chances of the baby going through the birth canal sideways

• There is more than one baby in your womb

• The placenta obstructs the cervix

• The umbilical cord is blocked cutting supply of oxygen while delivery

Physical conditions Deterring Standard Delivery

Your and the baby’s physical structure and shape may not be ideal for giving healthy birth. C-Section will be required when

• The baby has an amazing big head

• The mother has a narrow or fractured pelvis

• Previous C-Section incisions turn a uterus vulnerable to ruptures

• The baby cannot pass due to presence of obstructions like fibroid in birth canal

• The labor is not induced properly

• Contractions are unable to open the cervix to pass the baby through

Distressed Baby condition

Distressing conditions of the unborn child may prompt your doctor to suggest a C-Section. Babies with irregular heart rates or disrupted oxygen supply may need surgery for delivery. Such obstructions may develop when the umbilical cord goes down the cervix before the baby and gets squeezed.