HometownMcLennan County


Waco mom speaks out about disparities in birth within the Black community

Baylor Scott & White Hillcrest working hard to change the narrative in healthcare
Posted at 4:07 PM, Feb 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-26 23:43:30-05

WACO, TX — Alexandra Price is no stranger to motherhood.

She has two daughters of her own and even writes for Waco Mom's Blog giving her insight on what raising two daughters is really like.

"You're enough, you are enough, but you should demand more," Price said. "You need to tell the people around you that you need to be taken care of too."

She even takes advice from others because as you may know, it takes a village to raise a baby.

"I'm in so many mom groups, and it's like you need to hear from somebody else that's going through it," Price said.

With being a mom comes jitters and Price said, as a Black women, those jitters can turn to fear.

Particularly fear of losing the life of their unborn baby, or even their own.

According to the CDC, Black babies have a higher infant mortality rate than any other race.

In 2018, there were 10.8 Black infant mortalities per 1,000 live births compared to 4.6 white infant mortalities.

Black mothers also experience a higher death rate after birth.

"It's something that needs to be more known on a widespread level, and not just known but addressed," Price said.

She's using her voice to start a conversation, a conversation that needs to continue throughout all communities to change the current statistics.

"The really uncomfortable answer is that a lot of times it just boils down to you're treated differently," Price said.

Baylor Scott & White Hillcrest is looking to change that narrative.

Director of Nursing for Women's and Children's at Baylor Scott & White Hillcrest, Amanda Truelove, says medical issues aren't picking and choosing who to effect.

"If their blood pressure is 160 over 90, the brain does not care, that's not healthy. So, we can't say this population that's typical for them, so we address it differently than this population," Truelove said.

She says she even noticed implicit bias from what she was taught in nursing school 18 years ago and uses that as an example of how she can be the change for a safer environment for the patient.

Although doctors and nurses are there to help us, Truelove says looking at the data, we need to be asking ourselves a hard question.

"If our intentions are to provide equitable care to everyone, we kind of have to ask are we really? And the data does not support. So, we have to figure out why is that," Truelove said.

When Price was in the delivery room, she felt doctors were more or less checking boxes than listening to her needs.

"Especially postpartum you might have a concern and the same anxieties play in but even when you say I'm dealing with this, ya know it might be, oh you're just anxious or you're just overweight," Price said.

Price said being an advocate for your health is harder than it seems when implicit bias plays a role in healthcare.

Truelove challenges herself and her staff all the time when looking back at how things could have been taken care of differently. What they may have thought of as something that was not a big deal can quickly turn into tragedy.

"We want to create that safe environment to reflect and take feedback that maybe you were not intentionally delaying care but it did delay and what was contributing to that," Truelove said.

Baylor Scott & White Hillcrest have recently received their Level 3 re-designation in Neonatal Care. This means they are equipped and meet all requirements by the Legislation for quality assurance and performance improvement.

Disparity in healthcare won't change anytime soon unless we all begin a conversation as that can help change the narrative for Black mothers and their babies.

"You are touching the lives that's going to play into your education outcomes, that's going to play into your long-term health outcomes," Price said. "There's a lot of things that grow from this and we need to make sure Black moms and babies are delivered safely, cared for safely after birth and live on to have healthy happy lives as Americans. I mean that's the American Dream, right?"