New Beginnings Doula Training

New Beginnings Doula Training
Courses for doulas and online childbirth education

Monday, August 1, 2011

Black Women's response to Menopause

Speaking of cultural competency....I never knew that black women experienced menopause different than white women.  Blacks have more vasomoter symptoms and were more severe.  These included fatigue, headaches, cramps, night sweats, and depression.

Interestingly, these symtpoms where seen as ok and they used their own inner power to cope with them.  They described using faith, accepting, forgivness.  This process was seen as a natural aging process.

I would have never thought there was a difference had I not ran across this research:

I don't know that I agree with the author's conclusions.  They state, "Health care providers need to develop a mechanism to deliver the necessary knowledge about menopausal symptoms and management strategies to Black midlife women in their health care practices".  To me this sounded like we're are saying..these poor black women, they don't know what they are missing...let's enlighten them.  No...I think they could probably do a lot of enlighten us.  Not that we shouldn't also provide knowledge that they may desire, but I think we also need to acknowledge that just because the way the deal with menopause is different, does not make it worthless and in need of change.

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Birth is a Journey: Does it have to be life changing?

  • One woman might have to climb on an overfilled boat, risking her life and nearly dying as she escapes over the ocean to come to this land. This experience could certainly be life altering. It may very well color the rest of her life, positively or negatively. (I overcame this amazing struggle and here I am triumphant! OR Holy crap, that was SO hard I don’t know if I can go on! By the way, neither response is “right”. No one would judge the woman with the 2nd response.)
  • One woman may buy an airplane ticket, sit on a comfortable 747 and fly to America with a nice smooth flight and landing. She is happy to be in America. Those welcoming her are glad she is here safe and sound. She may only travel by plane 2-4 times in her life, so it is pretty memorable. But the journey itself probably wouldn’t be life changing; it would simply be a journey.
  • One woman may learn to fly an ultra-light plane to lead a flock of geese into America teaching them to migrate. This experience could certainly be empowering and life altering.