A small reminder.

UNICEF released this pretty compelling video, “Missing” to bring attention to the prevalence of maternal mortality in the world. Their statement:

“We call these women ‘missing’ because their deaths could have been avoided. In fact, 80 per cent of maternal deaths could be averted if women had access to essential maternal health services.
We know where and how these women are dying, and we have the resources to prevent these deaths. Yet, maternal mortality is still one of the most neglected problems internationally.”


Via UN Dispatch.

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7 Comments

  1. laurylen
    Posted February 27, 2009 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    Their lives could also have been saved by avoid pregnancy in the first place. Ooops – UNICEF forgot to mention that one.

  2. rhowan
    Posted February 27, 2009 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    They are promoting the importance of education and reproductive health for all women: it could be argued that that includes the education and ability to make health choices about when to become pregnant. But you’re right, they’re not addressing that point explicitly.

  3. Nimue
    Posted February 27, 2009 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    We should remember that the US ranks 2nd-to-last among industrialized nations when it comes to maternal mortality.
    All women need prenatal care and skilled birth attendants — but they don’t need care in which emergency measures are used so routinely they cause more harm than good.
    Support your local midwives!

  4. kece80
    Posted February 27, 2009 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    Your comment is sitting really uncomfortably for me, laurylen. Are you suggesting that ‘the choice’ to have a family/procreate/be a mother should be dependant upon where you live and how much money you have? Just because many places in the world have benefitted from advances in medicine and technology doesn’t mean that the people living there should be the only ones who continue to make ‘choices’ that men and women have been making since the dawn of the human race. And I won’t even get into the whole idea that most likely, ‘the choice’ (or lack thereof) of most women who are dying and suffering from pregnancy and childbirth are living in places where ‘the choice’ to have a child looks nothing like ‘the choice’ women who have access to adequate care make when considering to have a child. I guess, telling ‘them’ to just not get pregnant is an easy way to shuck guilt and responsibility.

  5. LucyBell
    Posted February 27, 2009 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    Amen! I just finished reading “Masking Maternal Mortality” an article by Ina May Gaskin in the Mothering magazine. She discusses the specifics of this issue, reporting (it is NOT consistent) and how many states are not required to report the death of a woman from complications related to childbirth or her hospital stay FOR childbirth. The article is too new to be online yet, but notes for it are here: http://www.mothering.com/articles/pregnancy_birth/birth_preparation/masking-maternal-mortality-notes.html

  6. LucyBell
    Posted February 27, 2009 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    Amen! I just finished reading “Masking Maternal Mortality” an article by Ina May Gaskin in the Mothering magazine. She discusses the specifics of this issue, reporting (it is NOT consistent) and how many states are not required to report the death of a woman from complications related to childbirth or her hospital stay FOR childbirth. The article is too new to be online yet, but notes for it are here: http://www.mothering.com/articles/pregnancy_birth/birth_preparation/masking-maternal-mortality-notes.html

  7. AgnesScottie
    Posted February 27, 2009 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    I am a full supporter of midwifery, home birth, doulas, and etc. But unnecessary medical procedures aren’t the only reason we have a high maternal mortality. A big part of maternal mortality in the US is the lack of prenatal care provided to low income women, just as it is in other countries.
    http://www.womensenews.org/article.cfm/dyn/aid/3330/
    States like Mississippi have a particularly poor record when it comes to the disparity between infant and maternal mortality in the pregnancies of women of color and white women.

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