Caesarean sections have been lifesaving procedures for hundreds of thousands of women across the world who experience complications during labour.
Globally, it’s estimated that just under 20% of births take place via caesarean section – a percentage that’s gone up over the last three decades. This has raised concerns, particularly in high-income countries where generally too many caesarean sections are performed.
But in many African countries women who are medically required to have caesarean sections are not able to access them. This is due to several reasons, the most prominent being weak health systems and a lack of resources.
This needs to be fixed as women in sub-Saharan African suffer from the highest maternal mortality ratio in the world. Close to 550 women die for every 100 000 children that are born. This amounts to 200 000 maternal deaths a year – or two-thirds of all maternal deaths per year worldwide.
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.
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.
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.
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
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 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.
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.
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.
Imagine going through your day without ready access to clean water for drinking, cooking, washing or bathing. Around the world, 663 million people face that challenge every day. They get their water from sources that are considered unsafe because they are vulnerable to contamination, such as rivers, streams, ponds and unprotected wells. And the task of providing water for households falls disproportionately to women and girls.
I have carried out research in India, Bolivia and Kenya on the water and sanitation challenges that women and girls confront and how these experiences influence their lives. In my field work I have seen adolescent girls, pregnant women and mothers with small children carrying water. Through interviews, I have learned of the hardships they face when carrying out this obligatory task.
An insufficient supply of safe and accessible water poses extra risks and challenges for women and girls. Without recognizing the uneven burden of water work that women bear, well-intentioned programs to bring water to places in need will continue to fail to meet their goals.
So, what is it like for women who live in places where sufficient and safe water is not readily accessible?
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.
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.