Every year in the United States, more than 700 women die, in their efforts to birth life into the world, and thousands more come close to death. Due to inconsistencies in Maternal Death-reporting guidelines, it is estimated that the true number of maternal deaths in the U.S. is closer to 3000-4000 every year. In fact, according to Amnesty International, more than a third of all women who give birth in the USA (1.7 million women each year) experience some type of complication that has an adverse effect on their health.
Bringing life into the world is a beautiful and most precious accomplishment. However, far too many women have given their own lives or good health in order to do so. With approximately 8 billion people in the world, the health risks a woman takes during pregnancy and childbirth; both short and long-term, are often overlooked, and rarely acknowledged.
Before mothers began changing diapers, breast or bottle feeding, cooking, cleaning, laundering, getting us ready for school, helping with homework, taking us to soccer practice, nursing our physical and emotional wounds; before they gave us up for adoption, abused or neglected us; they first, put their health, and their very lives at risk, to birth us into the world.
Along with their joy, often comes many days or months of morning sickness; Hyperemesis Gravidarum (extremely severe nausea and vomiting); nausea from favorite smells; diabetes, cholestasis (liver disease), venous thromboembolism (blood clots), hemorrhoids, swollen feet, back aches, gestational trophoblastic disease (uterine tumors), high blood pressure, and depression.
Some women become so hormonally imbalanced through the process, that they take the very life they risked so much to give. Many illnesses that occur for the first time during pregnancy are temporary; however some, including anemia, incontinence, and premature aging, can also have life-long effects.
Our mission is to honor and celebrate the women who have chosen to experience all the joys and pangs; the blessings and ramifications; the rewards and sacrifices, of bringing Life into the world. Every year, as we celebrate the day of our birth, or the birth of someone we love, let us also take a moment to acknowledge and celebrate the woman who loved life so much, that she risked her own health and yes, even her very own life, to birth new life into the world.