Mother’s Day is a wonderful thing. Although I never get what I ask for…one day of the girls not fighting; it’s still pretty sweet. I am blessed. The day I became a mother (for the fist and second time), I was fortunate to have excellent health care, during my pregnancy, and then at childbirth.
Oh, I had it good! Attentive nurses. Caring doctors. Clean sheets on the bed. A private room. Three meals a day. Two days stay in the hospital to rest. An epidural.
Because we are so blessed, we forget, or not know, that women around the world aren’t so fortunate when it comes to childbirth. We like to think that all women are treated with the same level of care and dignity we experience in the United States.
In Haiti, the Western Hemisphere’s poorest country, women have a very different experience when it comes to childbirth.
In Haiti, where maternal mortality takes the number one spot in the Western Hemisphere, millions of women are too poor to have access to basic maternity health care. They are too often left to go it alone. (Do you remember how scared and anxious you where when in labor?) And, those who can afford health care, well, the birthing conditions are unimaginable by American standards.
Pictured above is a Port-Au-Prince hospital birthing room. Remember, these are the mothers who are fortunate enough to afford health care!
HERE ARE SOME SCARY STATS:
One out of 93 Haitian women die during childbirth.
73% deliver without trained health workers.
In the United States that ratio is 1 in 2,000 women die during childbirth. Less than 5% give birth without trained health workers. (Source: Heartline Ministries)
And, that doesn’t even go to say how many babies die after birth in these hospital buckets. If they don’t break their neck from the fall, they drown in bodily fluid collected in the buckets, or they are born premature and the family can’t afford prenatal care.
When did it become okay to treat women, mothers in this manner? It breaks my heart that women around the world are treated no better than an animal. They are herded into unsafe and unsanitary hospitals like cattle. Money is not available for but one doctor and a few midwives in attendance to care for a whole room of laboring women. Family members are not allowed in the birthing rooms for support, or even to help care for their loved one. They are alone. Need a Cesarian section? If you don’t have the money to pay for a better hospital then mom and baby most likely die.
Here’s my Mother’s Day challenge to you:
In honor of Mother’s Day help Mothers in need so that they may one day joyously celebrate their pregnancy and birth.
Will you join me?
May I suggest giving to one of these organizations below who are inspiring change for Haitian mothers and babies.
One small thing can make a big change in a mother and child’s life.
Sources: Catherine Porter/The Toronto Star, Rage Against the Minivan, Livesay Family Blog, UNICEF
Thanks again Liz for donating to Run for Life Haiti…you rock! Happy Mother’s Day.