Every Mother Counts
Becoming a mother in undoubtedly a moving, transformative experience. But unfortunately, for far too many women, it can also be life-threatening or even fatal. 303,000 women die around the world annually due to pregnancy or childbirth complications—and maternal health advocate Christy Turlington Burns was almost one of them.
While giving birth to her daughter Grace in 2003, she experienced birth complications and lost a lot of blood as a result. But she had a trusted care team consisting of a midwife, her collaborating physician, and nurses who helped stabilize her.
The experience made Turlington Burns grateful, but also instilled a sense of responsibility to help out women with less resources than her. To help change the planet’s grim and unfair maternal mortality rate, she created Every Mother Counts.
Though there are plenty of modern resources, and unnecessary childbirth fatalities shouldn’t be a problem because of them, 99% of them happen in developing countries where healthcare my not be readily available. Women of Color also statistically face more challenging birthing situations. This is why Every Mother Counts (EMC) has been amplifying awareness about the issue by helping women share their stories to insight change. Childbirth and pregnancy mortality rates have become a much more prominent issue in the media lately, but that wasn’t always the case. Since starting her awareness campaign via the Tribeca Film Festival in 2010 Turlington Burns has helped give the unnecessary problem a spotlight.
The nonprofit also works with different communities to pass policies and aid other groups who are already taking to the steps to make change happen.
“Two critical maternal health bills, which we championed since their inception in 2010, were passed at the end of 2018: The Preventing Maternal Deaths Act and the Improving Access to Maternity Care Act,” explained EMC research and writing associate Melissa Gradilla.
Those who want to get involved have no shortage of options. EMC hosts an annual Mother’s Day race, and partners with plenty of other running events worldwide to accept donations. They also have an online shop with products that help support mothers and raise awareness (and make great for Mother’s Day gifts). Interested parties can also become an ambassador or donate directly to the site.
More on Every Mother Counts and their programs can be found on their website.