Lamaze International is delighted to share that they are an official partner with the upcoming March for Moms events taking place May 12-15, 2017 in Washington, D.C. that includes a Mother's Day Rally on Sunday, May 14th at the Jefferson Memorial.
March for Moms' mission states that they are "a diverse movement dedicated to addressing means that will improve the health of childbearing families." Their vision is a worthy one -"assure every person receives comprehensive care in pregnancy and early parenting to foster healthy, stable families."
New on the scene, their board members, founding committee, board of advisors and other volunteers are some of the brightest and most progressive crusaders in the USA today who are working hard to eliminate health disparities and improve maternal-infant outcomes for families. This organization is led by by President Ginger Breedlove, PhD, CNM, FACNM who is the immediate past president of the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM), Vice-President Neel Shah, MD, MPP, FACOG, Obstetrician/Gynecologist, Harvard Professor and Founder of Costs of Care and Secretary Lesley Rathbun, MSN, FNP, CNM, the President of the American Association of Birth Centers. Additionally, many well respected maternal infant health organizations, including Lamaze International has signed on as partners to back the March for Moms important efforts.
State of maternal-infant health in the USA
It is a well-established fact that the United States has the worst maternal mortality rate of all the world's industrialized countries. Given our plethora of resources and abundance of skilled health care providers, this recognition is shameful. Additionally, the maternal mortality rate for people of color is three to four times higher for that of white people. More than 50% of the deaths attributed to pregnancy or childbirth are preventable. Approximately 83,000 preventable deaths occur each year as a result of racial and ethnic health disparities, including high infant mortality rates.
Perinatal anxiety and depression affect 15-21% of pregnant people. Left untreated, the effects are felt in both parents and children after birth and long after that.
10% of babies are born prematurely and many of the reasons for these premature births include poor access to care, inadequate prenatal care, maternal co-morbidities, and racism which disproportionately affect families of color. Geographically, the southern states are more impacted by these inequities.
Things don't get better after babies are born. The United States is one of only eight countries in the world that does not mandate paid maternal leave after giving birth. Parents are forced to return to the workforce too soon, with inadequate and expensive childcare, workplaces that are not friendly to the new parent and a lack of understanding of the needs of new families to find a family-work-life balance. Again, people of color bear more of the brunt of this barrier to healthy parents and children.
Acess to maternity care, inability to afford care when it is available and a shortage of maternity care providers in many parts of the USA all contribute to poor outcomes for parents and infants. Lack of access to quality care leads to poor outcomes like premature births, maternal and infant mortality, and racial disparities in care.
The March for Moms is asking for your help to raise awareness of these conditions and to make local, state and federal government agencies aware that there is no time to waste, the time to act is now. Our families deserve better. Our babies deserve better.?
What does March for Moms have planned?
To work toward the goal of spreading awareness, March for Moms has several events planned and resources available for everyone to be able to step up and demand more attention and fiscal support be provided to improve these outcomes for our families. Learn all about the lobbying efforts, the speakers planned, the march, and other events occurring in Washington, D.C. by going to the MfM events page. If you are going to be in Washington, D.C., consider volunteering to make all the events a success.
Whether you can participate on the ground in Washington, D.C, May 12-15th or would like to contribute your time and efforts from your community, check out March for Moms Take Action page to learn about important bills, who to contact, how you can help and access additional information. You can even make a donation to help fund these important efforts or purchase March for Moms branded items.
Call to action
How a country cares for its most vulnerable populations, including pregnant people, babies, and children, - those most affected by health inequities and racial disparities, is a clear reflection of the values of the leaders in that country. Unite your voice with others who demand that the USA immediately address maternal mortality rates, prematurity, health disparities, and paid maternity leave so that we can have healthy and strong families that support our future generations. Join Lamaze International in getting involved with March for Moms now.