MAHEC collaboration in Pisgah View addresses poverty, infant mortality
ASHEVILLE – Thirteen years ago Nikita Smart gave birth to her daughter with the help of strangers. She and the girl’s father had split. Her family lived out of town. So the hospital in Fort Myers, Florida, had a sitter stay in the room during labor.
Friends stopped by to check on her, but Smart encouraged them to leave. They had jobs to get to and children to look after. "I was just totally alone,” said Smart, who was considered high-risk because of pre-eclampsia, a potentially dangerous pregnancy complication characterized by high blood pressure.
Smart, 44, is now training to be a doula and leading efforts in Pisgah View and Hillcrest apartments to make sure expecting African-American mothers in those publicly subsidized neighborhoods never feel like help is far away.
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Writer, World Traveler, Mother. These are my stories.