Beyonce And Serena’s Delivery Stories Highlight Complications Black Women Face During Childbirth

Beyonce And Serena’s Delivery Stories Highlight Complications Black Women Face During Childbirth

In her "Vogue" cover story, the singer detailed her traumatic emergency C-section.

Published August 7, 2018

In her in-depth profile in Vogue magazine's September issue, Beyoncé detailed the traumatic emergency C-section she endured when giving birth to Rumi and Sir.

During her pregnancy, Beyoncé suffered "toxemia" or preeclampsia, a pregnancy complication that involves high blood pressure and protein in the urine. This meant the 36-year-old recording artist was put on bed rest for more than a month before having an emergency cesarean section.

"Today I have a connection to any parent who has been through such an experience. After the C-section, my core felt different. It had been major surgery," said Beyoncé.

Beyoncé went into graphic detail about how her body was affected during the procedure.

"Some of your organs are shifted temporarily, and in rare cases, removed temporarily during delivery. I am not sure everyone understands that. I needed time to heal, to recover," she told the magazine. "During my recovery, I gave myself self-love and self-care, and I embraced being curvier. I accepted what my body wanted to be."

Beyoncé's friend Serena Williams, previously made headlines when she detailed how the birth of her daughter, Olympia, resulted in her developing blood clots in her lungs. In an opinion article that Williams wrote for CNN in February, she described how she "almost died."

"What followed just 24 hours after giving birth were six days of uncertainty," she wrote.

"I returned to surgery, where the doctors found a large hematoma, a swelling of clotted blood, in my abdomen. And then I returned to the operating room for a procedure that prevents clots from traveling to my lungs. When I finally made it home to my family, I had to spend the first six weeks of motherhood in bed," Williams added.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates about 700 women die each year in the United States due to delivery-room complications. What’s more, the risk of pregnancy-related deaths among Black women is three to four times higher than among white women.

"Black women often suffer more of these than do white women, in particularly the hypertensive diseases. So chronic hypertension, preeclampsia during pregnancy are more common among Black women than white women," Dr. Elizabeth Howell, an obstetrician-gynecologist and professor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, told CNN.

Beyoncé's and Williams' pregnancy stories have many people applauding them for highlighting the dangers Black women face while giving birth.

Written by Rachel Herron

(Photos from left: Larry Busacca/PW18/Getty Images for Parkwood Entertainment, TPN/Getty Images)


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