Self Advocacy in Medicine

Self advocacy in medicine cannot be overrated. Doctors are not infallible. Medicine is vast and many only know their limited lane. Many also don’t believe women.

Although my focus right now is sharing about perimenopause I want to share this story about postnatal care (or lack there of) to highlight why standing up for yourself is important.

Addy’s birth was medical. I had gestational diabetes and spent months of my pregnancy having to monitor my food and put insulin in my belly. I was also 42. The whole thing was medicated and orchestrated.

When I went for my six week check up I didn’t feel right. My doctor was like you are fine. The uterus is shrinking.

Another week. Another appointment. Another week. Another appointment.

I read about retained placenta. I felt into my body. I felt like that is me.

Another week. Another appointment. He told me it was in my head. He told me to go home. But lucky for me I am also a bitch and I refused to leave until I received an ultrasound. I knew I was right when I heard the tech gasp. And there it was: retained placenta.

I had a DNC to remove it. I took fistfuls of antibiotics.

If I hadn’t of done that. If I hadn’t of self advocated. If the Baltimore Brianna who did not take shit had not risen in me I would be dead. I would be one of those postnatal statistics that we are all talking about.

If you aren’t with a doctor that believes women go to someone else. I fired that doctor. Truthfully I have fired a lot of doctors. Because so many doctors don’t believe women.

You are not crazy. You are not hysterical. However you may be a woman in pain. Don’t be afraid to say: this shit is not good enough for me. Then take your fine ass and go somewhere else. Ask your friends: do you have a doctor who listens? And if their answer is yes: go to them.

Women are not hysterical.
Women are not crazy.
Women are not receiving the medical care they need.
Women are suffering.
Women are in pain.
Women are dying.

You too can be a bitch. I believe in you. Fight for yourself boo. you are worth it.

Further Reading on Postnatal Mortality:

Maternal mortality

The postpartum period: the key to maternal mortality

Further Reading on Self Advocacy:

If You Always Get Tongue-Tied at the Doctor, It’s Time to Work on Self-Advocacy—Here’s How

Taking charge of my healthcare toolkit