More than 3,400 women died in the United States during 2004 and 2005, and another 68,000 plus came close to death, due to complications related to childbirth; according to Amnesty International. In fact, thousands of women dieeveryyear. Currently, only six states are committed to accurately reporting these deaths, and even fewer report serious illnesses associated with pregnancy and childbirth.
Bringing life into the world is a beautiful and most precious accomplishment, however far too many women have given their own lives or good health in order to do so. With more than 7 billion people in the world, the health risks a woman takes during pregnancy and childbirth; both short and long-term, are often overlooked, and rarely acknowledged.
Before mothers began changing diapers, breast or bottle feeding, cooking, cleaning, laundering, getting us ready for school, helping with homework, taking us to soccer practice, nursing our physical and emotional wounds; before they gave us up for adoption, abused or neglected us; they first, put their health, and their very lives at risk, to birth us into the world.
Along with their joy, often comes many days or months of morning sickness; Hyperemesis Gravidarum (extremely severe nausea and vomiting); nausea from favorite smells; diabetes, cholestasis (liver disease), venous thromboembolism (blood clots), hemorrhoids, swollen feet, back aches, gestational trophoblastic disease (uterine tumors), high blood pressure, and depression. Some women become so hormonally imbalanced that they take the life they risked so much to give. Many illnesses that occur for the first time during pregnancy are temporary; however some, including anemia, incontinence, and premature aging, can also have life-long effects.
Our mission is to honor and celebrate the women who have chosen to experience all the joys and pangs; the blessings and ramifications; the rewards and sacrifices, of bringing life into the world. Every year, as we celebrate the day of our birth, or the birth of someone we love, we should also celebrate the woman who loved enough to risk her own life, health, and physical beauty, to make it happen.