A child’s birth day is a cause for celebration and joy. It’s also, far too often, dangerous: more than one million babies around the world die on their first day of life. Birth days can be hard for mothers, too. Around the world, a mother dies about every ninety seconds from complications related to pregnancy or childbirth.
Save the Children has just released its annual State of the World’s Mothers report, and it shows both the risks to newborns and mothers around the world, and the opportunities to improve healthy outcomes for babies and mothers on birth days.
All mothers deserve the opportunity to have a supported birth, and access to life-saving care for their new bundles of joy.
Low-cost interventions like access to injectable antibiotics could save thousands of babies each year, according to Save the Children’s report. Strategies like training health care workers, improving access to prenatal care, and supporting women and girls with holistic education and nutrition are already being put in place by organizations working hard around the world, and can have an even greater impact as they expand.
Here are two more organizations making a difference, at home and around the world, and two things you can do to address newborn mortality and maternal health.
EngenderHealth provides holistic training to healthcare workers, access to low-cost interventions, such as 50 cent pills that prevent postpartum hemorrhage, and information about family planning and contraception. Each year, EngenderHealth works in 20 countries around the world to support mothers and their babies. You can plant a flower in EngenderHealth’s virtual garden, in honor of Mother’s Day, and a generous donor will provide a $5 gift to support maternal and child health efforts.
It’s not just mothers and babies in the developed world who need support. The US rate of preterm births – 1 in 8 – is higher than that of 130 countries around the world, and complications from preterm birth can cause trouble for babies and their mothers.
Florence Crittenton Services, a Colorado-based nonprofit providing education and support to about 500 teen moms, their children, and young fathers each year, works diligently to improve the health of young moms and their babies. Their attention to pre and post-natal support and information is having an impact: over 90% of Florence Crittenton’s pregnant teens deliver full-term, healthy birth-weight (at least 5.5 lbs) babies. And, what’s more, over 90% of Florence Crittenton’s moms initiate breastfeeding – nationally, only 43% of women under the age of 20 do.
Save the Children provides an easy way to advocate for increased support for maternal and child health and nutrition here.
Donate to support the work of nonprofits supporting new babies and mothers here and around the world, like these eight organizations helping moms this Mother’s Day.