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Many people don’t realize that, among developed countries, the United States has the highest maternal mortality rates and, shockingly, it is the only advanced nation to have increasing maternal mortality rates in recent decades.

Black women and indigenous women in the US are particularly at risk, with maternal mortality rates that are two to three times as high as other women.

Education must be increased and awareness raised throughout the nation regarding this maternal health crisis, most of which is highly preventable through basic medical care.

Maternal Health Awareness Day is here to do just that!

History of Maternal Health Awareness Day

Maternal Health Awareness Day has a history that dates back at least to 2018, which is the year that New Jersey became the first state to officially recognize this event.

The founding of the event was built through collaborative efforts of several different organizations including the Rutgers Medical School, Tara Hansen Foundation, and others, to spread awareness to help prevent maternal mortality.

In the years following, the size and scope of Maternal Health Awareness Day has continued to grow, adding in the support of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG), the National Institute for Children’s Health Quality, as well as other organizations.

How to Observe Maternal Health Awareness Day

Far too many women’s lives are lost each year – hundreds of thousands – due to preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. Consider some of these ways to get involved with Maternal Health Awareness Day:

Understand Facts About Maternal Health

An excellent way to show support and celebrate Maternal Health Awareness Day might be to learn a bit more about some of the statistics behind this health issue and then share them to raise awareness.

Check out some of these important facts to get started with:

  • Almost all maternal deaths and disabilities are preventable with proper medical care
  • Some leading causes of maternal mortality include heart disease, stroke, hypertension, infection, blood loss, and preeclampsia
  • In 2020, one maternal death occurred almost every two minutes
  • Worldwide maternal mortality rates have dropped significantly since 2000, but the US has had an increase in recent years

Access Maternal Health Resources

Women who are pregnant or who have recently given birth may be interested in various resources that offer assistance for the best possible health during pregnancy and childbirth and afterward.

Talk to a local medical provider or nurse midwife. Or get access through government programs meant to help mothers, including the WIC Program (Women, Infants, and Children) as well as various initiatives of the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB)

Other events that can be celebrated throughout the year in relationship to this one include Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week in early May, Infant Feeding Day in early June, and NICU Awareness Month which takes place in September.

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