Black History Month is a time to celebrate and remember all the achievements made by African Americans throughout history. This celebration has been taking place since 1915, when Harvard historian Carter Woodson and minister Jesse Mooreland founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH) with the purpose of researching and promoting achievements of the Black community. Over the years, the celebration of Black History Month has expanded, and ever since 1976, the celebrations have revolved around a specific theme.
This year, the theme is “Black Health and Wellness” which aims to promote the legacy of medical practice and wellbeing activities that have evolved within the Black community. Even a brief glance at current and historical healthcare outcomes within this community signals that this focus is incredibly timely and must continue to be addressed.
One of the current challenges is finding a doctor with a common background. It’s clear the payoffs of having one, according to a 2020 study titled, “Physician–patient racial concordance and disparities in birthing mortality for newborns,” which showed the survival rate of Black babies almost doubled when treated by a Black physician. However, the trend of Black physicians have only increased by 4% over the last 120 years, according to a UCLA study titled, “Historical Trends in the Representativeness and Incomes of Black Physicians, 1900–2018.” While the numbers of Black physicians are low, the tide is changing and platforms are being created to make it easier to connect with these physicians, for example Health in Her Hue, Hued, and Irth App to name a few.
Additionally, addressing the systemic issues and prejudices Black men and women face during fertility and medical treatment must be a united movement that is backed by the community and its allies. While the resources that is included below are tailored towards those in the family building journey, much of the advice and insight applies across conditions and reasons to see a physician.
Advocating for Yourself and Your Health
- This is Infertility Podcast, Eggs Over Easy Film: Advocacy and Change for Fertility in the Black Community
- Progyny Webinar, Infertility in the Black Community: Understanding Your Health Conditions and Finding the Right Doctor
- This is Infertility Podcast, Black Women’s Health Imperative
- Progyny Webinar, Fertility and Maternal Health in the Black Community
- Progyny Article, Diagnosis, Symptoms, and Treatment of Fibroids and Polyps
- Progyny Article, 6 Tips for How to Find a Therapist
Practicing Comprehensive Health
Overall well-being doesn’t begin when you’re looking to build a family or when you’re looking to find a physician who supports you. Comprehensive wellness resolves around what your body needs to feel good. Some factors of overall wellness might include exercise, diet, and stress management. All of these can greatly impact your mental health and physical health. Here are some resources to get started.
Resources for Overall Health and Wellbeing
- Progyny Article, 3 Ways to Take Control of Your Fertility Wellness
- Progyny Article, How You Can Optimize Male Fertility with Exercise and Diet
- Progyny Article, Top 10 Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy
- This is Infertility Podcast, Fertility 101: Stress and Fertility
- Progyny Expert Interview, Stop the Self Blame Game: The Truth About Infertility and Stress
- Progyny Article, Commonly Asked Questions about Infertility and Relationships
- Psychology Today, How to Ask Your Partner for Support During IVF
- Psychology Today, 4 Easy Steps to Intention Setting
For many, finding support groups and resources where individuals can contribute as much or as little as they want can also promote wellbeing. Below are some additional resources specific to the family building journey.