This month I became a first-time auntie. Being with my sister (who lives on the other side of the country) for the final weeks of her pregnancy, through labor, and helping to welcome her first baby home was one of the most incredible things I witnessed this year. I will never forget her strength and watching her transformed into a mother.
As an auntie, my job was to support her and my brother-in-law. There were some things that I could do, like make sure they were comfortable at home, but when we arrived at the hospital, all I could do was provide moral support while the midwives, doctors, and nurses stepped in.
I don’t know a lot about pregnancy and giving birth. But I do know is how important it is to have a midwife or a doctor to ensure the safe delivery of her baby and her own well-being. And while all expectant mothers make a birth plan, circumstances may change that and access to services skilled health care providers when we need it is something we take for granted in the States.
Many mothers around the world are not as fortunate. According to the United Nations:
- More than 350,000 women die annually from complications during pregnancy or childbirth, almost all of them — 99 per cent — in developing countries.
- The maternal mortality rate is declining only slowly, even though the vast majority of deaths are avoidable.
- Every year, more than 1 million children are left motherless. Children who have lost their mothers are up to 10 times more likely to die prematurely than those who have not.
What breaks my heart is that most maternal deaths could be avoided through access to skilled health care workers, services, equipment, and supplies. This is why improving maternal health is one of the eight Millennium Development Goals the United Nations is dedicated towards achieving in an effort to end poverty by 2015.
Luckily, we can do something to help work towards that goal and change those statistics.
My goal is to adopt a total of 5 mothers and their newborns through Jolkona, the nonprofit I volunteer with.
You can support this campaign by making a full gift of $235 which will support one mother and her child for 3½ years or by making a partial donation for as little as $5.
Will you help me make an impact for the holidays?
Update: Thank you for all of your support! As of January 14, 2011, this campaign was complete and with your help, we exceeded the campaign’s goal and supported 6 mothers and their newborns! Thank you so much for making such an enormous impact!