When I initially made this blog post, I was advertising a local showing of the Safe Motherhood Quilt. When I switched website hosts and had to redo my site, I eliminated a lot of the blog posts about promotions, but I wanted to keep an altered version of this post because it is such an important topic, and has some really good information and statistics. The maternal mortality rates in our country are inexcusable, and yet so few people know what a problem it is. The more people who know, the more people will question, and that is what we need in order to make a change.
The Safe Motherhood Quilt Project was originally started by midwife Ina May Gaskin to help raise awareness about the rising maternal death rate in the United States, and the fact that the number of maternal deaths is being under-reported. In fact, the CDC estimates that the actual number of maternal deaths in the United States is 1.3 times higher than what is actually reported. There is no penalty for not reporting maternal death.
Here are a few statistics about maternal deaths in the United States:
• The United States currently ranks 60th in the world for maternal mortality. That means that at least 59 other
countries have lower maternal death rates than we do, and that is just counting the deaths that are reported.
• Every 2 minutes, a mother in the United States dies from pregnancy or childbirth related complications.
• The United States spends more money than any other country in the world on pregnancy and childbirth, yet we
have more maternal deaths than any other developed country in the world.
• African American mothers are 4 times more likely to die in childbirth than caucasian women.
• Hispanic women are 1.6 times more likely to die in childbirth than non-hispanic white women.
• There has been no reduction in the maternal mortality rate in the US since 1982.
Each square on the quilt is dedicated to one mother who has died due to complications from childbirth since 1982.
The quilt travels around the country in the hope that the more people who see it, the higher the awareness will be of this growing problem.
Did you lose someone to pregnancy or childbirth related complications? Visit the Safe Motherhood Quilt Project's website to find out about creating a square in their honor.
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