Mickey Guyton on Black maternal health and having a 'geriatric pregnancy': 'How am I going to survive this?'

·3-min read
Mickey Guyton discussed how she balances country music stardom and being a new mom. (Photo: Getty; designed by Quinn Lemmers)
Mickey Guyton discussed how she balances country music stardom and being a new mom. (Photo: Getty; designed by Quinn Lemmers)

Welcome to So Mini Ways, Yahoo Life's parenting series on the joys and challenges of child rearing.

Country music star Mickey Guyton has a lot to sing about these days. Coming off of a seat-raising CMT performance, the Grammy-nominated star is no stranger to professional accolades — but she's very clear on what comes first.

"We all want money, but I think at the end of the day, no matter what, your family is the most important," the "Black Like Me" singer tells Yahoo Life.

Guyton, 38, welcomed son Grayson with husband Grant Savoy in February 2021, in what was considered to be a "geriatric pregnancy." As a Black woman, the country star admits feeling concerned about the risks to her health during the pregnancy.

"When I found out I was pregnant and when I accepted that I was pregnant, I became terrified. Before I was even pregnant, I read the statistics of Black women dying during childbirth and that was terrible for me," she shares, adding that hearing stories of other high-profile women of color facing maternal health issues contributed to her fear.

"I read about Beyoncé's story and Serena Williams's story and I thought to myself, if Serena Williams or Beyoncé almost died during childbirth, how am I going to survive this? If they still faced some of the implicit biases in the birthplace, that terrified me," she says.

This encouraged Guyton to be proactive in her search for a Black doctor who wouldn't invalidate her feelings or concerns. She speaks of the "relief" she felt after settling on California OB/GYN Dr. Evelyn Nicole Mitchell.

"She knew exactly what I was going through and she assured me that 'that' does not happen in her delivery room," she says. "I felt so safe; I knew she was gonna believe my pain. She wasn't gonna let anything happen to me."

The doctor also eased Guyton's concerns about being "too old" to have a baby.

"I'm an older mother ... and I had these certain thoughts in my head," she says. "[Mitchell] completely wiped those away from my brain."

Though Grayson is only 1 year old, he's already been immersed in the jet-setting lifestyle of a country star.

"I've brought my kid with me everywhere, starting at 2 months old," Guyton says. "He's been on so many different planes."

This technique has allowed her to balance more time with her son. Another busy mom tip? "Let other people hold your baby," she says, noting that it's helpful that her baby is comfortable with being around and held by other people. Having loved ones around her to pitch in has also been a game-changer.

"It takes a village," she says. "I have a lot of help: my parents, my husband's mom, my brother-in-law. I've got a lot of people that are helping me be able to pursue this career."

As Guyton relishes motherhood and looks to the future of her family, one thought sticks out to her: Grayson growing up and attending school in a few years. Guyton wants to make sure he has a safe environment to get to and from school, something she remembers her mom prioritizing when she was younger.

"My mom drove my brother and sisters and myself to school because she was so scared about us walking to school by ourselves," says the singer, whose latest partnership is a step toward making school zones safer.

"What I love about this initiative is that they are making it their mission by 2024 to make 100 different school zones safer globally," Guyton explains.

Started in north Nashville, 3M's School Zone Safety initiative is combining the power of innovative reflective road markings and traffic signs with committed communities to help protect the lives of young pedestrians.

Says Guyton, "My whole mission and my goal of my own personal career is really speaking up and being a voice for the voiceless."

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