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If even Beyoncé had a rough pregnancy, what hope do other black women have?

4 24 0

Last week, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter premiered Homecoming on Netflix. Three homegirls and I were glued on the navy sectional, journeying with Mrs Carter through her love for black colleges, black people, and black music. I’d seen the Coachella performance well over 50 times, memorizing the “Getting to the Money” routine for a dance challenge I never posted online. But this documentary included commentary and showcased her work ethic and diet, including the battle with her body during and after her second pregnancy with twins.

“I was 218 pounds the day I gave birth. I had an extremely difficult pregnancy. I had high blood pressure. I developed toxemia, preeclampsia,” Knowles-Carter explained. “...[O]ne of my babies’ hearts paused a few times, so I had to get an emergency C-section.”

Our watch party gasped. Beyoncé’s estimated net worth is approximately $350m alone (compared to $12,000 for married, black women in her age group), and well over $1bn coupled with Jay-Z, her partner. They could probably afford the best care that money can buy. But if our Queen was at risk, what chance does everyday, regular or poor black people have at healthy pregnancies? For many of us, very little.

Black women die from pregnancy-related complications as high as 4 times the rate of white women. It’s getting worse. Per a USA Today investigative report, black mothers also suffer severe complications twice as often, including disproportionate rates of hypertension and blood disorders- similar to Beyoncé’s complications.

The Center for........

© The Guardian