For the past few weeks, I've been receiving incredibly detailed emails from my friend Melissa, an OB from Bozeman, Montana. She's currently working in Sudan with MSF (aka Doctors Without Borders).
Years ago, she was the OB who let me shadow her for a month. The one who changed my view of the maternal health world...forever.
I was preparing some posts when the new Adele album started playing and I got inspired to interrupt my originally planned post on sleep deprivation and food cravings (don't worry, you'll get it soon).
ADELE! Can I say, "***K!" Why didn't you tell me? Guess you tried....
Listen. You guys. We just don't know...We don't know the reality of the state(s) of maternal health around the globe. Until we read a letter from a friend or relative living it.
I'm aware because my friends tell me their experiences, I've lived them as a provider, and I pay close attention.
To let you in a bit, here's an excerpt from one of my friend's emails:
"Then friday, I was waiting at the hospital front gate for the MSF car to pick me up and return to base when a car pulled up and several men dragged an unresponsive pregnant woman out. They placed her on some type of makeshift 3 wheeled rolling cart and ran past me into the hospital. I thought it looked suspicious so I followed them. She was covered in blood and unresponsive. No pulse, not breathing, pupils fixed and dilated...dead actually. Apparently she bled in the village the day prior and walked 4 hours until she collapsed. Her caregivers waited by the side of the road overnight with her until a vehicle passed by and they were able to get a ride to town which took another 5 hours. Sadly she had bled to death on the way. After we determined she was dead, the family immediately turned around and wheeled her body back out to the car on the makeshift cart and departed as quickly as they had arrived. It was tragic but also very odd - everyone rushing around with a dead body and then unemotionally driving away with it."
My friend's ****ing realtime story paired with #GivingTuesday, tomorrow, made me want to make it easy for you to help make it possible for women to have access to safe pregnancy and birth outcomes.
Here are 7 of my favorite organizations:
Every Mother Counts
Circle of Health International
Health Leadership International
Global Midwife Education Foundation
The Changing Woman Initiative
My hope is that you’ll find one maternal health organization to give to tomorrow, even $5.
We are a growing community, and I know you are a person others listen to when you speak.
If you share something (a gram, FB post, word of mouth) with your clan about maternal health, we’ll all come together with more strength and power to do our small part in helping heal a bigger, broken picture.
If we speak out, together, more people will know what we know - that women everywhere deserve the opportunity for healthy, safer pregnancy and birth outcomes.
Will you help another mother out tomorrow?
People always ask me if I became a midwife for the babies, and I say, “Nope. I got into it for the women. To help them have better access and outcomes in a setting where they felt safe, with a provider who made them feel confident they were in good hands.”
Thank you so much for hearing me out. May your days be beautiful and strong!