New York Times & USA Today Bestselling Author, and NAACP Image Award nominee, Nancy Redd, released her new book: Pregnancy, OMG!: The First Ever Photographic Guide for Modern Mamas-to-Be. During a recent interview with theGrio, Redd spoke on the importance of tackling inclusiveness and the lack of medical care for black women.
“I think it’s really important,” says Redd. “We’re looking at these conversations about diversity and making sure that people are being inclusive in fiction, movies, and television. I’ve personally always been a champion for the same inclusivity in non fiction books.”
“My very first book, Body Drama, was the first ever photographic guide to puberty. It showed an array of women of all shapes, sizes, skin colors, ethnicities, sexualities.It didn’t judge, it did not question, it just showed us as we are.”
“I brought that to all of the other books that I have written including Pregnancy, OMG! The reason I call it that is because … OMG… this is a struggle, and the struggle is real when you’re pregnant. We are all in this together, and I wanted every pregnant person to be able to see themselves in print.”
Although all women experience pregnancy struggles, black women disproportionately suffer from higher maternal morbidity rates and critics say the healthcare system doesn’t put as much effort into treating black women with care.
“We are not considered human,” Redd expresses. “We are considered a lower class of individuals when it comes to medical care. This is a conversation that is coming up more and its subconscious 90 percent of the time.”
“If you specifically ask your doctor, ‘Are you racist towards your patient?’ They’re like, ‘No, I love all my patients.’ But in practice, when you are exhausted and you have 500 patients a day, you’re going to pick and choose who your patients are.”
This reality prompted Redd to do her own research to find an African-American OB/GYN back when she was pregnant, who actually made her birthing experience better. Redd opens up about about that experience.
“When I needed an epidural, they did not send the individual who was in charge, they sent the intern who couldn’t get it in,” Redd shared. “Luckily, my doctor came just to check on me and immediately when they had her approval to give me good quality care, the whole game changed.”
“We have to be more careful about knowing what we need. Luckily, I knew what I needed, I needed my doctor.”
“That’s why I wanted to write a book that is inclusive of everyone. Because I think so many times they are like, ‘That’s their issues,’ or ‘Those or their issues’ or ‘I’m not so worried because they don’t relate to me.’ All of our issues are related, we are all humans and we all deserve to be treated with care. We all deserve to know and respect our bodies.”
Check out the full interview below.