Photo Credit: Photo by Cottonbro
As A Black Woman, Having A Baby In Spain Is Safer Than In The U.S.
It’s been 40 years since Michele McCain moved to Spain.
“The sunsets in Palma de Mallorca are what won my heart over,” she told Travel Noire. “The sunsets were some of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen in all my travels around the world. I was sitting on the rocks, watching the sunset and I said, I’m staying.”
McCain is a Brooklyn-native, but her voice allowed her to woo audiences worldwide as an artist. After living in various countries across Europe, she decided moving back to the United States was simply not an option.
“I’m not harassed for my skin color, there’s a better work-life balance, and I am just overall, happier,” said McCain.
But one of the key factors in her decision was safety. She feels safe when she walks the streets of Spain compared to the United States. She also feels safer being a part of Spain’s healthcare system— something she often reflects on at a time when the global health crisis exposed the disparities Black people face in the healthcare system, particularly Black pregnant women, who in the United States, are dying at an alarming rate.
Black Women Mortality Rate
The United States has the worst rates of maternal mortality in the developed world. Racial inequities in the health care system are the leading factor. Black mothers in the United States are three times as likely to die from maternity-related complications as white women, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
The major causes of maternal morbidity and mortality include hemorrhage, infection, high blood pressure, unsafe abortion, and obstructed labor, according to the World Health Organization.
These disparities are why Black pregnant women search for alternative options, including water births from home or utilizing birthing centers with the help of a midwife, as reported in The New York Times.
For McCain, she would pitch the alternative option of having children abroad.
“When I had my daughter I had my own private room, I had a matron, the doctors were there and supportive […] I was very fortunate,” said McCain. “Healthcare is free here and when you need to go to the hospital, people just go, and we don’t worry about being treated unfairly because of skin color or like a leper.”
Safe Destinations For Black Women To Consider For Childbirth
Scandinavian countries are ranked some of the best for childbirth. According to Mothersreport.org, Norway, Finland, Iceland, Denmark, and Sweden are the top five countries. Netherlands, Spain, Germany, Australia, and Belgium round the list of the top 10.