Friday, May 06, 2011
Help keep every mom in the picture
"Don't worry, mom" is a slogan that makes most of us chuckle.
Worry is what we do. It starts before the pregnancy and last through our dying breath. ... Which most of us have taken for granted will happen long after these babies we've made make babies we can spoil.
But the truth is every day 1,000 women (some of them only girls) die in childbirth. And for each of those women who die, another 20 are injured, suffer infection or disability from maternal causes. The numbers are shocking. One in 14 women will die in childbirth in Somalia as compared to 1 in 15,200 in Italy.
Many children born to women who die in childbirth will not survive more than two years following her death. This includes children she bore previously who were as old as 10 at the time of her death. Without mothers the world's children suffer economically, educationally and poor health. Without mothers the world suffers.
The worst (and perhaps best) part of this tragedy is that these deaths are preventable. It only takes increases in skilled health care and better access to family planning ... and the political will to make those changes.
That's where The White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood and CARE International come in. They've embarked on a campaign to raise awareness about why governments should care about the health of mothers, and how, by doing so, they can strengthen their nations' future and prosperity.
We also need to remain vigilant that the political will to protect the health of American women and their families isn't diminished by the loudest squeaking wheels in the system. According to Amnesty International, maternal deaths in the U.S. have increased significantly during the last two decades. Constricting access to effective family planning we will surely see more maternal death and more poverty.
We can't end the worry for all mothers but we can make it less worrisome for those who are most in jeopardy.
I can't think of a better gift for Mother's Day.