Category Archives: antenatal care

Impress Mom With These Maternal Health Mother’s Day Gift Ideas + Giveaway

Mother’s Day is the perfect holiday to splurge on the moms in your life as well as to support moms around the world. It’s a day to show love for mothers we know and to also remain mindful of the mothers everywhere who may need a little or even a lot of help for them and their families.

In a political climate where more and more US funding is being stalled or even cut for maternal and reproductive health globally, these gifts can help mothers in more ways than you might realize.

Here are organizations we believe in and help mothers survive pregnancy and childbirth.

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Photo: Midwives for Haiti

Midwives for Haiti: After spending time in Haiti with Midwives for Haiti a few years ago and seeing the amazing care they provide for poor, rural expecting Haitian women, I cannot recommend donating to them enough! Midwives for Haiti’s mobile clinic gives Haitian women the opportunity to receive quality maternal health care without having to walk for hours for antenatal appointments.

Midwives for Haiti is currently in the midst of a fundraiser for its mobile clinic. $10 provides care for one mom. Donate for Mother’s Day and help them reach their $60,000 goal by May 15.

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Jacaranda Health: Jacaranda Health is providing expectant mothers in Kenya with great maternity care. In fact, Jacaranda Health just received distinction as one of the highest quality maternity care providers in East Africa.

For Mother’s Day, Jacaranda Health is asking participants in the United States and Kenya to upload #ThrowbackMumsDay photos of yourself with your mum on Twitter and Facebook. You could win a free spa day for two. Help Jacaranda Health celebrate Mother’s Day this year.

Every Mother Counts: Every Mother Counts has a wonderful Mother’s Day fundraiser going on their website where you can buy wonderful gifts and a portion of the net proceeds goes directly to saving women’s lives while they’re pregnant.

Using the universal symbol of maternal health, the orange rose, Every Mother Counts has launched its Mother’s Day Orange Rose collection with partners including Tom’s, Minted, and Marc Jacobs and

Dutch Chocolate

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Tony’s Chocolonely

We wrote about Tony’s Chocolonely the other day and wanted to also include them again in our Mother’s Day gift guide. Tony’s Chocolonely offers slave-free chocolate. Not only is it ethical chocolate, it’s also delicious! Tony’s Chocolonely offers two different sizes and seven flavors. Buy your mom chocolate for Mother’s Day.

GIVEAWAY: Win Elevita’s Best Bag Ever Made By Cambodian Artisans

elevita

Elevita is on a mission to alleviate poverty worldwide by helping artisans in developing countries find a greater world market for their products. Visit Elevita to read more about their mission and to see their artisan wares.

To win one of Elevita’s Best Bags Ever for Mother’s Day leave a comment below. Ends May 14, 2017.

New Maternal Health Mobile App for Tanzanian Women Seeks Crowdfunding

The more technology improves in low-and-middle income countries the quicker mobile apps will be invented and scaled to better people’s live. We already know that banking apps have transformed the exchange of money and have helped economies like Kenya’s thrive. Now, innovators are looking to create more and more mobile apps to transform health care and save more lives.

Sub-Saharan Africa has some of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world. While those numbers have fallen considerably over the past decade, the numbers still remain incredibly high. In Tanzania, for example, the maternal mortality rate is 578 per every 100,000 live births according to the World Health Organization.  Most of these deaths occur due to postpartum hemorrhage, complications during delivery and postpartum infections. When women deliver their babies at home or do not get proper prenatal care during pregnancy the probability that they might die increases.

Smart Access to Health for All (SAHFA), a nonprofit organization that specifically creates applications for rural communities to be able to access quality health information from their mobile phones, wants to save more lives through its technology. JamboMama! is its first project and is seeking 10,000 euros in crowdfunding to complete.

The JamboMama! app provides health information to expecting women and connects them to their health workers. It provides pregnancy updates and sends women’s medical records to the hospital where they will give birth. JamboMama! also sends text updates about the mother’s pregnancy and prompts her to answer questions about how she is feeling and how her pregnancy is moving along. For women in rural communities who cannot always get to their community health posts, health clinics, or hospitals JamboMama! can be the difference between life and death.

 

SAHFA plans to launch JamboMama! in Tanzania as its first pilot program. To donate to the creation of JamboMama! visit SAHFA’s crowdfunding page at https://www.helloasso.com/associations/sahfa/collectes/jambomama.

While the payment instructions are in French, you can allow Google to translate the page.

Photo: Jennifer James

Despite Differences in Culture, US and India Fall Short in Childbirth in Similar Ways

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Woman in labor, shown with monitors. 

Neel Shah, Harvard Medical School

After eight years of practicing obstetrics and researching childbirth in the United States, I know as well as anyone that the American maternal health system could be better. Our way of childbirth is the costliest in the world. Our health outcomes, from mortality rates to birth weights, are far, far from the best.

The reasons we fall short are not obvious. In medicine, providing more care is often mistaken for providing better care. In childbirth the relationship between more and better is complicated. Texan obstetricians, when compared to their counterparts in neighboring New Mexico, are 50% more likely to intervene on the baby’s behalf by performing a cesarean section. Nonetheless, Texas babies still have a lower survival rate than New Mexican babies.

I long assumed that our most puzzling American health care failures were idiosyncrasies–unique consequences of American culture, geography, and politics. But a trip to India for the 2017 Human Rights in Childbirth meeting led me to a humbling realization: when it comes to childbirth, both countries fall short in surprisingly similar ways.

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Neel Shah, center, pictured with Jishnu Das, a Lead Economist at the World Bank and Leslie Page, President of the Royal College of Midwives. Neel Shah, Author provided

Human rights in childbirth

I take care of patients in at a well-funded teaching hospital in Boston, where pregnant women seem well-respected and have clear, inviolable rights.

Continue reading Despite Differences in Culture, US and India Fall Short in Childbirth in Similar Ways

The Troubling Truth About Maternal Mortality in the United States

When everyday Americans think about women dying during childbirth it is probable that their initial thoughts travel directly to Africa where it is quite well known that maternal mortality is rife. Chances are their thoughts never focus on the deaths and near deaths during childbirth that women experience right here in the United States. After all, the overwhelming consensus is that the United States has the best medical care, superior health workers and health system in the world despite some of its inherent challenges. This thinking renders maternal mortality in the US thoroughly inconceivable to many even while data reveal it should not be inconceivable at all. In fact, maternal mortality is on the rise in America having doubled over the past 25 years all while global maternal deaths are steadily declining. Globally, maternal mortality was effectively reduced by 44 percent according to the World Health Organization.

The United States, while not the overall leader in maternal mortality among all countries, it is the leader among all developed nations. The United States ranked number 33 out of 179 countries in Save the Children’s 2015 Mothers’ Index Ranking and 46th in the world due to the rate of women who die from pregnancy and childbirth complications. Compared to other developed countries, the United States’ ranking is abysmal, especially with Norway, Finland, and Iceland ranking in the top three overall. Even countries like Estonia and Belarus, whose GDPs are considerably lower than ours, far outrank America.

Continue reading The Troubling Truth About Maternal Mortality in the United States