When I was pregnant with my son Jackson, I experienced serious complications. There was a high risk of him being born very early and not making it. My doctor put me on bedrest. I literally could only get up to go to the bathroom and that was it.
This threw an unexpected wrench in my year (to say the least) but I did what I needed to do to protect myself and my baby. There were a few terrifying moments (and multiple emergency room visits) but we got through it and welcomed Jackson into the world.
Fast-forward a few years. I got pregnant with my youngest, Jett. After giving birth, things felt off. I felt exhausted, anxious, and cried all the time. While loved ones cooed joyfully over the new baby, I was terrified that something bad was going to happen to my baby and that intense anxiety that I couldn’t shake made me feel sad and depressed every day.
I didn’t know it at the time, but I was experiencing postpartum depression. My husband was the first person to notice. He urged me to talk to our doctor about it, which I did.
While all of this was happening, I was already running a thriving company. My household was financially secure. Which meant I had the funds to get the help that I needed.
I could afford to hire a doula and night nurse, get therapy, get household support with laundry and meal prep, and take time off work. Money doesn’t solve every problem, but it sure does help a lot. Because I had an excellent wellness team in place, I recovered fairly quickly and felt like myself again before too long.
My story has a happy ending.
But for most Black women, the story is extremely different.
Statistically, Black women receive some of the poorest care during pregnancy, childbirth, and in the months following birth. They’re treated carelessly by doctors. Their pain is ignored or minimized. Black women are 3 to 4 times more likely to experience a pregnancy-related death than white women. Black babies are 3 times more likely to die compared to white newborns.
This happens due to racism and biases in the healthcare industry.
And, it happens because many Black women don’t have extra money laying around to get the help they need—such as hiring a doula who can advocate for them during the pregnancy journey. Black women typically earn 63% the amount that a white cisgender male colleague makes, which means many Black moms are extremely financially stressed. This creates yet another barrier to getting the care they deserve.
What is the solution to this problem? It’s two-fold.
Number one, we have to teach women of color (and other historically marginalized groups) how to earn more money and build wealth. That’s what we do through my company, Hello Seven.
Number two, we have to put money directly into the hands of Black moms who need it, right now, so they have access to life-changing services. Immediate relief. That’s the mission behind my nonprofit, The Hello Seven Foundation.
This August, The Hello Seven Foundation is partnering with Give 8/28 to raise $50,000 for Black moms and newborns. These funds will be used to provide crucial services including doulas and childcare.
Here’s what you can do right now:
- DONATE means you’re donating to the cause (any amount). Your gift is tax deductible.
- FUNDRAISE means you pledge to raise money for the cause. Give 8/28 makes it easy to set up a fundraising page in two seconds. Use your creativity to raise funds by doing a garage sale, silent auction, lemonade stand, car wash, whatever you want to do. Consider doing a fundraiser with your kids—a great way to be a role model and teach them about giving back.
- Go click DONATE or FUNDRAISE right now, before you forget, so that we can reach our goal by August 31.
Your donation will be such a blessing to a woman in need. It will bring unimaginable relief at a time when she’s vulnerable and scared. It will change the trajectory of her life and her child’s life, too.
Who’s willing to donate, fundraise, or both?
I hope it's you.
PS. Let’s end on a note of possibility and hope. Good news: research shows that when women have excellent care during pregnancy including a doula, they are less likely to need pain medication, less likely to require a vacuum or forceps-assisted birth, and their babies are less likely to have low Apgar scores at birth. Doulas make a difference. Funding makes a difference. The impact is real. Go change a woman’s life.