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“Every Mother Counts” – Fighting Maternal Mortality

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Pregnancy related image Photo courtesy of Every Mother Counts

My mother used to joke that giving birth to me put her into shock. I never got many details.  Just that she had lost a lot of blood and they had to call in a second doctor to stabilize the situation.  She strongly disliked the obstetrician who panicked while delivering me, characterizing him as cavalier and condescending.  After viewing the new documentary, No Woman, No Cry, I realized that my mother had survived an “obstetric hemorrhage.”

The director of No Woman, No Cry, Christy Turlington Burns, experienced a similar situation as my mother.  It pushed her to take a look at why 1,000 women around the globe die daily due to complications from pregnancy or childbirth, particularly as 90 percent of those deaths are preventable.

Most immediately recognizable as a top fashion model, Turlington Burns took on the mantle of activist back in the early 1990s with her efforts toward rebuilding war torn El Salvador, the homeland of her mother. She worked on the ground with the Salvadoran American Humanitarian Foundation.  In 1997, when her father died of lung cancer, she became pro-active in smoking prevention.  She connected with CARE, as their Advocate for Maternal Health.

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EmpowHER Guest

A great article! Marcia mentions a panel in which Christy discussed maternal mortality along with UCSF's Dr. Suellen Miller. Suellen and her research group, the Safe Motherhood Program, conduct research into new interventions to reduce maternal mortality. They are currently investigating a first-aid device to prevent maternal deaths from obstetric hemorrhage. It is called the LifeWrap, looks like the bottom half of a wetsuit, and has been shown to reduce bleeding and deaths by up to 50%. Read more at http://www.lifewrap.org

June 17, 2011 - 1:37am
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