Back in December, I was saddened to read the story of Michal Lura Friedman, who died just hours after giving birth to healthy boy-girl twins, as a result of complications following her C-section.
As a mom of twins myself, I couldn’t help identifying with her, and as someone who knows what an immense challenge it is to parent newborn (infant, toddler, etc.) twins, my heart went out to her husband, who would be (and still is) doing it on his own while also dealing with the horrible grief of having lost his children’s mother.
When something hits close to home, and when you can identify with the people involved, it’s easy to feel the full weight of the tragedy. It’s harder to conjure up the same kind of sympathy when you hear about death in the abstract. But this Mother’s Day, I’m trying to.
Every day close to a thousand maternal deaths just as devastating as Michal Lura Friedman’s occur. According to the World Health Organzation, 360,000 girls and women die worldwide each year from pregnancy or childbirth-related complications. In most cases, it’s due to lack of adequate medical or emergency care. And although things are worst in the poorest countries, they’re not so great right here at home, either: the US has only the 50th lowest maternal mortality rate in the world (behind all of western and some of eastern Europe).
This Mother’s Day, the Every Mother Counts Initiative, headed up by Christie Turlington, is promoting “No Mother’s Day,” asking that mothers “disappear” in solidarity with this cause, either by going silent (no phone calls, no emails, no — gasp! — tweets or status updates) and/or by asking family members to donate money to causes that support vulnerable girls and women, or support women’s health, etc. instead of giving them the usual cards, flowers, etc. (More on “No Mother’s Day” here.)
It’s a little last minute and all. (In fact, I didn’t know about this whole initiative until Saturday morning.) So it may be too late to tell your husband and kids to forget about breakfast in bed and donate to CARE instead. (Or you may, like me, want that breakfast in bed, dammit. How about a donation and a doughnut, right?)
But if you have a minute, take a look at the website for Every Mother Counts to learn more about the issues and see how you can help. Maybe watch the trailer for Turlington’s documentary “No Woman, No Cry.” (Below). Or just spread the word.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there, wherever you may. Here’s wishing you happiness and health.
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My book: DOUBLE TIME, my memoir of parenting twins, battling depression and chasing that ever-elusive work/home balance.
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