The Importance of Black Women’s Health
WRITTEN BY DR. SHANESSA FENNER
The health of a Black woman is precious. We have to make better decisions when it comes to taking care of our spiritual, mental and physical health. Dr. Melody T. McCloud is a strong advocate for the health of Black women. The Georgia-based gynecologist has written a book entitled “BLACK WOMEN’S WELLNESS: Your “I’ve Got This!” Guide to Health, Sex & Phenomenal Living” and Upscale Magazine recently caught up with the passionate doctor to discuss taking care of your health, her informative book and more.
BY DR. SHANESSA FENNER
Upscale: Share your backstory.
Dr. McCloud: I was a latchkey kid from Washington Heights, New York. I never knew my grandparents and I had an absentee father who I met when I was 49-years-old. My mother raised me well when she was younger, but I discovered she had some issues later on. So, I really had no family and it has been a head down, stay prayed up and stay focused journey for me. I remember being at a PTA meeting with my mother and the high school assistant principal told my mother, “Make sure she takes typing because Black people don’t become doctors.” However, I already knew better because when I was a little girl I had a Black female pediatrician named Dr. Doris Wethers.
Dr. McCloud: This book is about so many issues that are affecting our health: societal issues, societal stress, microaggressions and maternal mortality. Women need to know their family history because we need to know what issues and diagnoses we face from the get go such as diabetes, heart disease, sickle cell and more. I wanted to motivate Black women to pay attention to their bodies. We can go get our hair done, nails done and buy our Jimmy Choo shoes, but we need to take that one day a year and go get our checkups done in a timely manner. Unfortunately, Black women are still dying from diseases that other women are surviving, but part of it is that we really need to be more proactive. The number one reason why we have such high maternal mortality is because we do not start prenatal care early enough in the first trimester. I encourage women to ask questions. We also have to be mindful of sex and this HIV issue. People don’t want to talk about why it is happening so much. Black women are the leading demographic of new cases of HIV. It is because purely heterosexual women are having sex with high risk men and the majority of the men are on the down low and sleeping with men. They are not telling Black women that they are going both ways. White men will tell women that they roll both ways, take it or leave it. That is not what’s happening with Black men. Black women need to wake up and know who you are going to bed with or thinking about going to bed with. I’m really concerned about what a lot of women are doing sexually. The culture has taken into this provocative sexualized energy. We have lost our way and it hurts me to see what is happening. We need to get back to the church, family structure and values, family morals and put some clothes on because everyone does not need to be out there half naked because we are getting into trouble with HIV and sexually transmitted diseases.
Black women please take heed to these words of wisdom from Dr. McCloud. We have got to learn to love ourselves enough to take care of our bodies because no one else will.
The book can be purchased at:
Barnes & Noble: https://bit.ly/3fiktAx