According to statistics, the pregnancy mortality rate of black women is 4x’s that of white women. Recently, Serena Williams shared her pregnancy story and it was a nightmare. Williams had a life-threatening experience after giving birth to her daughter, Alexis Olympia. In a recent interview, she said that the “doctors aren’t listening”. She discussed the racial disparities that are happening during childbirth complications for black women.
Williams has a medical history of pulmonary embolism, she is well aware of the symptoms and how to treat them. Serena felt short of breath and told the nurses immediately what was going on so that she could get appropriate treatment.
In a detailed Vogue cover story, she talks about how the nurses did not listen to her at all. She told doctors the doctors exactly what she needed “I told you, I need a CT scan and a heparin drip,” Vogue reported. The next six days for Williams were “a slew of health complications,” she wrote for CNN.
“First my C-section wound popped open due to the intense coughing I endured as a result of the embolism. I returned to surgery, where the doctors found a large hematoma, a swelling of clotted blood, in my abdomen. And then I returned to the operating room for a procedure that prevents clots from traveling to my lungs. When I finally made it home to my family, I had to spend the first six weeks of motherhood in bed.” – Serena Williams
Williams tied her story into the discussion of the negative treatment in healthcare when it comes to black women.
“Doctors aren’t listening to us, just to be quite frank,” she said. “We’re dying, three times more likely. Knowing that going in, there are some doctors not caring as much for us, is heartbreaking.”
Williams says she is fortunate enough to have good health care but what about those who don’t?
“To imagine all the other women who do go through that, without the same health care … is again, it’s upsetting,” she said.