Mothers encouraging others during Black Maternal Health Week

Black women are up to four times more likely to die before, during, or a year after childbirth, according to the CDC.

Metro Atlanta groups have used their platform to educate mothers of their risks during Black Maternal Health Week.

Not even two weeks after Brandi Frazier had her first child, she felt pain behind her left eye. That was a symptom she caught early that likely saved her life.

Excited, yet exhausted from her child's birth, Frazier checked her own blood pressure at home.

It was high, and because of her family history, she wasn't taking any chances. At first, nurses didn't notice anything alarming.

"She was like 'your blood pressure is normal,'" Frazier remembered.

Frazier had her doctor run the same test.

"She was like 'you were right. Your blood pressure is reading higher than that. About 165,'" she said.

"'This is postpartum pre-eclampsia...If you had not come in today, you could've had a seizure or stroke and you could have died,'" she said.

Dr. Michael Linsay with Emory said the quiet killers strike after childbirth.

"If you're not feeling well after the baby is born, reach out, even if your appointment is a month or six weeks away," he said.

He said risk factors for black mothers include an increased risk of underlying health conditions, implicit bias, and access to health insurance or prenatal care.

Black mothers, like Frazier, have created communities online such as Bee Empowered Mama and Atlanta-based Black Moms Blog to support each other.

"Online you have it at your fingertips, you should be able to slide into a [direct message] and say '"I went through this,'" Frazier said.

Dr. Lindsay said the care should not stop once mom and baby are settled at home.

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