Chrissy Teigen and John Legend Put Spotlight on Black Infant Mortality

 

In an heartbreaking Instagram post,Chrissy Teagan shared that she and husband John Legend's most recent pregnancy did not end as planned. Writing "We are shocked and in the kind of deep pain you only hear about, the kind of pain we’ve never felt before. We were never able to stop the bleeding and give our baby the fluids he needed, despite bags and bags of blood transfusions. It just wasn’t enough." The couple was midway through their pregnancy and this loss has left them to grieve when they should be celebrating.

The couple have two other children, Luna and Miles, making this their third pregnancy. The couple has decided to you name their baby Jack and had this to say "he will always be Jack to us. Jack worked so hard to be a part of our little family, and he will be, forever"

 

A Bigger Crisis

Around the country reports are highlighting the disparities black families face when dealing with birth. Many reports show that African American women are four times more likely to die during childbirth while black children are two times less likely to make it to their first birthday than other races.

 

What is being found is that the constant stress from trauma and racism is a leading cause in these deaths. In a study done by First Five LA, when trying to figure out exactly what is causing this crisis they focused on racism, healthcare, prenatal care, and community support asking 100 Black women to share their experience in each category. One thing they have found is that all of the women have faced either direct or indirect racism that has caused stressed on their pregnancy. Research has shown that pregnant woman who had major negative life events or psychological stress exposure were twice as likely to have early miscarriages.


A Rally Cry

Christie Teagan's decision to share her loss publicly has hit a soft spot with mom across the country. For many moms this has highlightedTheir own loss or a loss of a loved one. Messages like the one below have filled social media timelines since Tiegen's announcement.


Our hearts go out to Chrissy Teigen ,John Legend, and all of the families who have experienced the same grief. If you are looking to find more information on the black infant mortality crisis there are a number of resources and organizations doing work on this subject. If you are experiencing grief from a recent or past negative birthing experience we recommend starting with the Grief and Loss Crisis Response Network.


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