TW: This is alarming, but intended to inform, not intimidate!
While other countries around the world have had dropping Maternal Mortality rates, the US has been steadily increasing. So much, that it's a whopping 3 times that of the UK and 8 (!!!) times that of Norway, the Netherlands and Sweden.
It's a shocking example of how poor our health system is in the US. More women die in labor and the first 42 days of postpartum than any other developed country. And the CDC estimates that about 60 percent of these deaths are preventable.
But in California, this number is dropping. Fewer women are dying in childbirth, despite the current political assault on women's health care.
This is to the CMQCC, the multidisciplinary health collective based out of Stanford. When a group of concerned doctors, nurses, midwives, and hospital administrators came together to review and identify the root causes, they saw the two main causes were from hemorrhaging and preeclampsia - both of which are preventable.
Why am I telling you this? Not to scare you, create anxiety, or drive you into a tizzy. This is the reason that I do what I do. Women's health is SO under-prioritized in the US, and the numbers demonstrate this clearly. I have committed my life to educating, empowering, and supporting women to be as INFORMED in their process of becoming a mama as possible.
If you want to learn more about the statistics, the science, and what's being done about it, you can visit this article here.
But moving beyond the tragedy of what's already happened, and the lives that have been forever impacted, I see an opportunity for women to rise in love of ourselves and one another, together. Knowledge is power, and having the foresight to ask the right questions in advance to your medical provider is crucial.
Beyond that, sharing with community is vitally important. Having a Doula for your birth journey as your advocate is one major step that is reducing C-section rates and maternal morbidity DRAMATICALLY. So much so, that if a Doula was a medication, it would be UNETHICAL to NOT use one!
It's time that women stand for their health, for their bodies, for their babies, and their families in a way that creates waves in the ways that we Birth. Empower yourself with the key questions, a supportive team, and a rapturous passion to create a safer world for yourself and the women in your life.
We make lasting change by speaking up in the difficult moments, and if we are not able to, having someone there who can.
I'm proud of you powerful mamas!