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Bracelet initiative aims to address postpartum complications for new moms


By DeJuan Hoggard

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    RALEIGH, North Carolina (WTVD) — When Raleigh’s Natalie Rosario gave birth to her second child on April 1, little did she know she would be the first at UNC Rex to receive a bracelet that reads: “I Gave Birth”.

Rosario’s son topped the scale at 10 pounds and was 22 inches long. She gave him the name Jonah. Her other son, toddler Noah, is nearly 2 years old.

“I feel kind of special honestly,” said Rosario after receiving the bracelet. “I feel like, oh my gosh, I’m Superwoman. Plus, I got a bracelet for it. So I feel happy and special.”

The healthcare system started the initiative at the beginning of April to remind mothers of the postpartum complications in what’s commonly referred to as the “fourth trimester”.

According to maternal health data, approximately two of every three pregnancy-related deaths occur during the first 42 days of postpartum. Additionally, the CDC has found that more than 80% of all pregnancy-related deaths are preventable.

UNC Rex’s bracelet aims to address the startling statistic, especially since North Carolina has a high maternal mortality rate.

“I feel like if you leave (the bracelet) on, it’s good because people know how to deal with you. Especially with the person that just gave birth,” Rosario said. “It makes me feel like OK I just gave birth, but it’s OK I do have backup. I do have resources if I do need help with whatever. I could always call back Rex or you know, just have a voice.”

According to hospital figures, UNC Rex and its women’s facility in Holly Springs deliver more than 5,000 babies each year.

Black Maternal Health Week runs from April 11-17. The goal is to increase maternal health awareness and address health disparities within the Black community.

“In the Black community, we don’t talk a lot about our mental health. We don’t talk about our symptoms that we’re feeling,” said SAFEchild’s Krystal Grady. She serves as the program coordinator for the agency’s Mom Supporting Moms mentoring and resource group in Raleigh. “And many times we get in the doctor’s office, we’re scared to talk about these symptoms.”

One of SAFEchild’s beliefs is that a sign of individual and family strength is seeking out education and health resources. Grady said she believes it’s highly important.

“When you have a quality of care that is not well … a lot of times they’re sent home with those symptoms and then the unfortunate happens,” Grady added.

SAFEchild also plans to roll out a new program geared toward expectant and postpartum mothers called Birth and Beginning Years, better known as BABY.

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