Member spotlight: Sade’s rainbow baby
When she found herself pregnant again after an earlier loss, Sade knew she needed better support than previously. She shares her relief and joy in finding more culturally-concordant care.
“Everything they expected to go wrong went right until it didn’t. The hospital made me feel defeated during every visit. I was overcome with guilt and didn’t want to fail. Providers fed into my fear instead of giving me hope or sympathy.
At 3 months and 3 weeks I was told my pregnancy was not viable. With the nurse’s optimism blighted by code of conduct regulations, all I could do was give up. I was provided no support or console. It was something I had to go through alone.”
Better outcomes begin with better support
A year and six months after Sade’s first pregnancy sadly ended, she found herself pregnant once again, and wanting to do everything she could to remain so. It was important to Sade to have support from someone with whom she could speak freely, someone who would do more than provide textbook answers. As Sade anxiously awaited a message from her new Cleo Guide, deep down, she hoped to be paired with someone Black like herself. After connecting with Natasha Sobers, a Cleo Guide and Birth and Postpartum Doula focused on improving health outcomes for BIPOC parents, Sade felt assured of Cleo’s ability to provide the support she needed.
“Natasha wanted to know my expectations for my pregnancy and provided me resources in what I should look for, if not expect, when expecting. I was able to then navigate what I felt was best for me as a patient during my prenatal visits, to foods that would be nurturing for my body as well as the development of my unborn baby. The information provided before my appointments kept me ahead and my doctors on their toes. Natasha encouraged me that if I ever felt uncomfortable, speaking up would not work against me. I was also given guidance on what accommodations I could receive while working, which was put in place by my job with no hesitation.”
Sade knew that African-American women are more at risk in child-birth, and not provided the same resources as other women. She wanted a doctor with the knowledge and capacity to diligently care for her, and not allow her to become another statistic. With the support and guidance of Natasha, Sade was a more successful advocate for herself.
“My doctor assured me that she and her colleagues understood my concerns and would provide me the support I needed.”
“To voice your opinion is to voice your freedom to choose.”
Communicating what you prefer can lead to more open discussion about your health and allow for more informed decision making.
“My doctor even agreed that the stereotypes that African-Americans feel less pain are believed by doctors today. Since I approached her with that being my primary concern, she assured me that under her care, my pain would not be minimized.
To voice your opinion is to voice your freedom to choose. If your doctor is not willing to have an open discussion with you, even though you feel that there is more you need to know or do not understand, reach out to someone willing to listen.”
“I had a Rainbow Baby and I named her Prea, which is North African, meaning Brave Heart.”
Sade attributed her Guide Natasha with not only helping her through a health pregnancy, but helping her achieve personal growth as well. Arriving at the hospital in the wee hours of the morning, she was told she was doing well and progressing quickly. Less than six hours later, she delivered her darling baby girl.