Over the years, we have been made aware the risks of heart disease among women. One Wichita mom shared her personal story of her experience with heart disease, while another reminded us how important it is to take care of the “heart of the family” (aka the mom).
And most recently, we were proud to join the American Heart Association and Go Red for Women Chair Amanda Marino in the effort to educate mothers and women about the importance of heart health, specifically as it affects young mothers.
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of maternal death in the U.S. Or put into simpler terms, heart disease is the number one killer of new moms. And Black women are at a particularly high risk of cardiovascular disease.
Go Red for Women Panel | Importance of Prenatal Care
We had the pleasure of attending the Go Red for Women Kickoff Breakfast, to hear from a Maternal Health Panel featuring local healthcare leaders.
The takeaway? Prenatal care can save lives. A healthy pregnancy is best for both mom and baby in the short and long term. And early prenatal care means better odds of delivering a healthier baby.
It is critical for women to focus on pre-pregnancy health and beginning prenatal care during the first trimester of pregnancy. Sharon Jefferson, BSN/RN of Ascension Via Christi St. Francis and Wichita Black Nurses Association stressed the importance of prenatal care and visiting your healthcare provider regularly during pregnancy.
However, women often do not see a doctor until the second trimester according to Venus Lee, ThD and CEO of GraceMed Health Clinic. This can be due to a variety of reasons from fear, finances, lack of knowledge, or work obligations.
Dr. Alexandra Meloccaro, MD of Associates in Women’s Health added that prenatal care isn’t just about baby but about mom. Mom has to be healthy to bring baby into the world (and we all know how easy it can be as moms to put others before ourselves). She went onto say one of the first steps in helping prevent heart disease among new moms is education both in the public and medical communities. And that means really listening to patients and being sensitive to cultural differences.
Pregnancy and Maternal Health Resources
Go Red for Women is here to support women in all stages of life, and all stages of a pregnancy. They have a wonderful resource hub, specifically for pregnant women. You can find that here.
Thursday, September 28, 2023
210 N Mosley Street
Wichita, KS 67202
The Wichita Go Red for Women event is on Thursday, September 28, 2023 at the Vail. This year’s chair is Amanda Marino. Marino advocates for maternal health and is an adoption and surrogacy attorney for Martin Pringle Law Firm.
“I was honored to be asked to be a part of Go Red for Women,” said Marino. “My platform is maternal health and inequities in health relating specifically to maternal health. The American Heart Association is important to me, and I think as a mom, we tend to put ourselves on the back burner. We don’t always put our health first.”
Marino said her legal experience has played a role in inspiring her passion for raising awareness for maternal health.
“As an adoption attorney, that speaks to me,” said Marino. “It’s an opportunity to promote awareness and find a way to give to back to the community.”
For more information about tickets or the Go Red for Women initiative, visit Heart.org/WichitaGoRed.