Gestational Diabetes

Hi, it’s Dr. Curry-Winchell. Today, I want to discuss a significant health issue that often goes undiscussed. Gestational diabetes, especially as it pertains to the Black maternal health crisis in the United States.

In honor of National Diabetes Month and the current Maternal Health crisis I partnered with She Knows to highlight this growing concern. You can find my article from She Knows HERE

What is Gestational Diabetes?

Gestational diabetes is a condition that can develop during pregnancy. It is usually diagnosed through screening between the 24th and 28th weeks. The exact cause is not fully understood, it’s thought to be linked to hormonal changes in pregnancy. Symptoms can be subtle, such as increased thirst and frequent urination, or non-existent, making it a potentially silent threat.

The condition not only affects mothers by increasing the likelihood of complications like premature birth and cesarean sections, but it also impacts infants, who may face respiratory difficulties, future obesity, and a higher diabetes risk later in life.

The Impact on Black Maternal Health

Alarmingly, gestational diabetes is a gateway to type 2 diabetes postpartum. Research shows that Black women are disproportionately diagnosed with type 2 diabetes following gestational diabetes, this disparity could be due to a lack of consistent screenings post-childbirth, as symptoms may be mistakenly attributed to typical postpartum recovery.

Type 2 diabetes is a serious condition where the pancreas either doesn’t produce enough insulin or the body becomes insulin resistant. This can lead to severe health issues, including vision loss, nerve damage, and increased risk of kidney and heart diseases — conditions that already have a higher mortality rate among Black individuals.

The Importance of Advocacy and Screening

Advocacy is crucial in addressing this health crisis. The healthcare system’s systemic racism and unconscious biases often lead to the dismissal of Black women’s pain and concerns. I speak from personal experience. As a physician within the healthcare system, I encountered life-threatening challenges during my childbirth due to my pain being overlooked.

For those diagnosed with gestational diabetes, it’s critical to request diabetes screenings after giving birth. As healthcare providers, we must confront unconscious biases and eradicate race-based medicine to improve health outcomes for all mothers and children.

In conclusion, while gestational diabetes is a complex condition with profound implications for maternal health, awareness and proactive management can lead to better outcomes. Help spread awareness, share this article with loved ones and those that can benefit from the information. Increased health literacy gives everyone a better opportunity to advocate for their own health. Greater awareness helps bring light to disparities and of course helps bring change.

Stay informed and prioritize your health!

– Dr. Curry-Winchell (Dr. BCW)


Maternal Mortality – Health with Attitude

Dr. BCW, Dr. Curry-Winchell, participates in a regular segment with Eugene L. Green called Health With Attitude.  In the most recent installment, Dr. BCW talks with Eugene on Mother’s Day about Maternal Mortality in Black Mother’s.  There are serious disparities between black mothers and white mothers when it comes to death during pregnancy and it is something that needs to be addressed and taken seriously as it is literally killing mothers.

Dr. Curry-Winchell also recently did a blog on this topic as well.  Find that here –

Check out this important video that highlights a serious equity issue that is terrorizing the black community.

Remember, to subscribe to Beyond Clinical Walls.  It really helps the channel and it helps Dr. BCW continue to provide helpful informations on health topics, health literacy and health inequity .  Thank you so much for your support – Dr. Curry-Winchell

Maternal Mortality in Black Women

Hi, It’s Dr. Curry-Winchell, Dr. BCW. In honor of Mother’s Day, I wanted to discuss maternal mortality in black women. Within this troubling reality of maternal mortality, a striking disparity exists. Black women, particularly in the United States, face a disproportionately higher risk of maternal death than their white counterparts. This fact demands attention and immediate action to address the systemic factors contributing to this tragic inequity.

The Stark Reality:

The statistics surrounding maternal mortality in black women are alarming. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), black women in the U.S. are three to four times more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications than white women. Even in high-income brackets, well-educated black women face higher risks than their white counterparts with lower incomes and education levels. This glaring disparity persists across all age groups and income levels, underlining the deeply rooted structural issues.

Underlying Causes:

Access is often cited as the cause of many health-related disparities. However, given the findings that even economically fortunate and highly educated black women face a higher risk of death, this issue is not simply a matter of access. Several factors contribute to the elevated rates of maternal mortality among black women. First and foremost, racial bias within healthcare cannot be overlooked, and unconscious bias and racial stereotypes are undoubtedly a factor. These biases influence medical professionals’ decision-making resulting in poor health outcomes for black mothers. Studies show that black women often face inadequate medical care, misdiagnoses, and delays in treatment, leading to preventable deaths.

Do not fall into mental trap that this isn’t an issue any more. These biases are alive and well today.  Look at the 2016 study that showed that almost half of medical students surveyed believed that black patients had thicker skin and felt less pain than white patients.  Find the study here:

Social determinants of health can play a role. Economic disparities, limited access to quality healthcare, and higher rates of chronic diseases all contribute.

A Call for Action:

Addressing maternal mortality in black women requires everyone’s help, and we need to target both healthcare systems and social structures. Here are some steps that can help:

  1. Raising Awareness: Awareness of the disparities in maternal health outcomes among black women is crucial. Education and dialogue can foster empathy, drive change, and encourage action.
  2. Eliminating Racial Bias in Healthcare: Implementing training programs for healthcare professionals to recognize and combat racial bias is critical, as is dismantling structural racism within healthcare systems. 
  3. Investing in Community-Based Support: Establishing community-based programs that provide culturally competent care, support networks, and education can empower black women during pregnancy and childbirth. These initiatives can help bridge the gaps in healthcare access and provide vital resources.


Maternal mortality in black women is a devastating and persistent crisis that needs our attention. The systemic factors contributing to this disparity must be acknowledged and addressed at all levels. By addressing racial bias within healthcare systems, improving access to quality care, and investing in community-based support, we can move towards a society where every woman, regardless of race, receives the care and support she deserves during the miraculous journey of motherhood.

Stay informed and make well-informed decisions about your health and well-being.

– Dr. BCW (Dr. Curry-Winchell)