‘We need to advocate for our patients’: Grand Strand Medical aims to bring awareness to minority women’s health

Published: Apr. 7, 2023 at 10:58 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 8, 2023 at 9:53 AM EDT
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - As part of National Black Maternal Week, Grand Strand medical professionals are encouraging pregnant Black women and mothers, to understand the urgent maternal warning signs.

They say it’s because there are some other health issues that tend to be more severe in Black women.

The U.S. still has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the developed world. Nationally, Black women are nearly three times as likely to die from a maternal cause as White women.

The National Center for Health Statistics reports that in 2020, the maternal mortality rate for Black women was 55.3 deaths per 100,000 live births, while the same rate for white women was 19.1.

In South Carolina, the maternal mortality rate for African American women is 43.3, white women have a 16.4 maternal mortality rate.

Grand Strand Women’s Care, Obstetrician-Gynecologist, Dr. Melissa Vogt says the need for individualized, respectful and above all, equitable care is paramount when it comes to the health and safety of moms and babies.

“One of the biggest things that we need to do is provide an environment that focuses on just open conversation,” she said. “As health care providers, we’re responsible for building trust, offering hat respectful and individualized care. Above all us, we need to advocate for our patients.”

Mother of two, Tameka Baptiste tells me she decided to be vocal about the kind of care she wanted for her two pregnancies.

“As women, we are one of the most dynamic forces out there. People don’t realize how much we go through on a daily basis and we deal with it,” she said.

For information about our childbirth classes or to learn more about our maternity care, visit MyGrandStrandHealth.com/MaternityCare or call (843) 692-4444.