For the second time in three years, I found myself as a support coach at the bedside of a family member during an emergency caesarean section, secondary to pregnancy induced hypertension.
Pregnancy induced hypertension (PIH) also known as Gestational hypertension is a condition which occurs during pregnancy where blood pressure levels are dangerously high. In more complicated cases the symptoms also include severe swelling , and protein in the urine which can lead to pre-eclampsia or toxemia which can be fatal for both baby and mother.
PIH has the highest rate among black women. Most fatalities of mother and baby due to PIH are also the highest among the African American community:
While there is no sure way to absolutely prevent pregnancy induced hypertension, some contributing factors to high blood pressure can be controlled. Attend early prenatal care appointments, maintain a healthy diet, and exercise. Some practical tips also include:
Thankfully my family members are ok, however with education and self care women in the African American community can avoid potential tragedy.
National Institutes of Health
Depression is real. Anxiety can be frustrating! Denial of these mental instabilities can prove debilitating to a community.
Mental illnesses within the Black community have always been around. The negative stigmas attached to mental health disorders in the black community leaves a wide opened gap of unanswered questions from broken people with no knowledge of how to properly heal and live independently dealing with these conditions.
As a result, there are not many open dialogues catered to young black men and women who may benefit from this abandoned conversation. Many are left to their own devices, trying to overcome inner demons that we as a People are reluctant to admit we have.
Historically, African-Americans have normalized our own suffering. Dating as far back as during Slavery, mental illness among blacks has been prevalent but many were forced to hide their issues. Then and now: strength is equated with survival and weakness (including mental illness) meant you may not survive. Today the shame that is associated with displaying weaknesses plagues our community because it cripples our voice. We are unable to adequately address this issue simply because we as a People are afraid to speak out!
BE AN ADVOCATE! SPREAD LIGHT! SHOW LOVE!
Often times, being a great support system to a friend in need is just what the doctor ordered. We as women should become more comfortable becoming more open and free when uplifting and supporting one another. We truly feed off of each other. We thrive on the support we get from others within our networks of support.
I have co-existed within a tribe of amazing enlightened women who formed a “Queen’s Circle”, where I and other strong conscious women were free to openly discuss, question, or vent about a variety of topics that we as black women need to put on the table. The process was truly refreshing, new, and extremely helpful in sparking a healing in each woman. By sharing our stories with a veil of transparency, we allowed the fear of judgement to disappear. This act of freedom created a sense of ease among our divine circle. Conversation deepened, yet flowed effortlessly. We as a people should definitely adopt this best practice. Let’s transform! Lay down the shame and help build up a King/Queen!
WHY DOES MENTAL HEALTH MATTER?
Without mental health we cannot be healthy! Any part of the body – including the brain – can get sick. We all go through things in life that may test our emotional triggers. We all have our Good and Bad days.
Mental health conditions go beyond the emotional reactions. Most people (in all communities) fail to realize the implication that most cases involving mental instability are indeed medical! Change may occur in mood, thoughts, and feelings. These changes can alter your life. It can make it hard to relate to others. Without proper treatment, mental health conditions can worsen and make day to day life difficult.
HOW TO IMPROVE!
Break the cycle! Open up the dialogue. Do the research! Find out more on mental instability within the black community. Discover how common this illness is and find best practices offered by mental health professionals to achieve wellness of the mind. The mind is truly a precious thing to waste.
THINGS TO KNOW
QUEENS SUPPORT QUEENS