Candace E. Martin Profile picture
Apr 16 20 tweets 18 min read
TY @innodim for inviting me to speak! My cognitive PEM wouldn’t let me be great but I appreciate her encouragement & summary! Want to be sure my main points are clear in re to Black Maternal #Mental Health, Perinatal Mood & Anxiety Disorders #PMADs, & disparities.#AIMART #BMHW22
I am no expert, so I'll share what I know. Black mothers are more at risk of #PMADs & are less likely to receive treatment b/c the structural social & economic inequities as a result of #antiBlack #racism & #misogynoir in this white supremacist patriarchal society.#BMHW22
“Close to 40% of Black mothers will suffer from postpartum depression [(PPD)]” OR ‘Systemic racism & sexism harm Black mothers which manifest as PPD for a reported ~40%.’ Addressing these risk factors associated w PMAD is key:
Lack of access to high-quality medical care
HR pregnancy & childbirth complications
Lack of social support
Gaps in medical insurance
Financial barriers
Unsafe neighborhoods
Increased stress
Exposure to trauma
Since #pregnant ppl with a hx of #depression & #anxiety have an increase risk for #PMADs, we need to address #mental health starting during the #preconception period; help patients to establish well-being, adopt coping strategies, & connect to mental health services for support.
We can work w communities to create policy & establish practices to #prevent, #mitigate, &/or hopefully #eliminate these factors for #PMADs; some are more challenging given their magnitude, prevalence, multifactorial origin, etc. Hwvr, potentially addressing communal challenges
e.g. #violence, #environmental injustice, & #poverty through ph interventions i.e. building #greenspaces to help improve mental health; gun buy-back programs; workforce training programs, etc. can improve the #socioeconomic & environmental conditions thereby reducing #stress.
Similarly, addressing interpersonal #conflict & #trauma w counseling, services, & aid can provide safety & well-being to #pregnant people & #children. This is esp imperative to Black pregnant ppl b/c #IPV & #homicide while pregnant disproportionately harm #BlackWomen. #BMHW22
Curious to see quantitative & qualitative data for pregnant ppl at the intersection of anti-Black racism & transphobia/hate. With the erasure of transgender & nonbinary identities in birthing, I fear there may be similar outcomes we're not highlighting & addressing in RJ. #BMHW22
Or not amplifying the voices, funding, & including in leadership the ppl & organizations, esp #transgender & #nonbinary folks, whom are in this work already! #BMHW22
“Unfortunately, what Shanice’s family & community are experiencing [after the 31 yo woman was murdered by a former intimate partner while being 9 mos #pregnant] is part of a larger #epidemic of #intimate partner #violence disproportionately experienced by Black women & girls."
"#Homicide is a leading cause of #maternal mortality, & it is totally preventable... [H]omicide was a leading cause of maternal death. Unacceptably, 50 percent of women killed during and after pregnancy are #Black.”…
This is terrifying! We know our race doesn't make us more likely to be murdered; there's nothing biological making us vulnerable. Systemic & systematic racial inequities, & gendered & structural violence are compounded-->our partners & the systems to commit violence against us.
‘BW are less likely than ww to initiate or continue treatment for postpartum depression (PPD)’ or Systemic & interpersonal #antiBlack racism, sexism+ prohibit BW from accessing #competent, responsive, & #accessible #mental health treatment/services compared to ww. #BMHW22 #AIMART
Lack of access to quality health care
Protective behavior from personal, familial, &/or communal hx of #medical #violence & #apartheid (“Distrust in health care system”)
Lack of #diversity in care
Less #screening for mental health conditions in WOC
Mental #stigma
Other factors for not seeking mental health care:
Lack of #insurance
Exclusion & inequities in #capitalism leading to #poverty, low discretionary income & #financial instability (“Finances”)…
We must facilitate treatment: indiv. & family therapy; meds; community support groups; meditation; art therapy; holistic medicine, etc. Access from preconception to well beyond pp will help pts manage stress, changes in hormones to life circumstances, & mental health diagnoses.
This is tragic!💔
We really need to talk more about IVP & homicide for BW, pregnant ppl during the perinatal period. We know victims were more vulnerable during mandatory quarantine & thereafter. Disabled & immunocompromised ppl who still need to isolate remain esp vulnerable.
Check out this Black woman-led organization centered on maternal mental health: @shadesofblueprj!!

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More from @cannylou

Apr 15
“When we are taking care of our Black pregnant women…we are sowing the seed for a healthier society overall.” @innodim refers to ‘the domino effect of caring for the most vulnerable’ yields a positive impact on the health of everyone! #AIMART #BMHW22
Dr. Harold says ‘BW present w cardiovascular disease while pregnant in spite of the high socioeconomic status’s protective factors seen in their counterparts b/c of weathering: Black women have experienced chronic stress at the intersection of racism & sexism.’ #AIMART #BMHW22
“It is a consequence of surviving white supremacy to structural racism.” Yes! @innodim The disproportionate rates of disease & death during the perinatal period are a result of a “underlying pathology of the society,” ‘not our genetics’.
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