We've been sharing for a while now about the critical issues and health challenges that exist for mothers in the United States. In case you missed it: mothers and babies are dying too often, and for reasons that are often preventable.
There are many, many great organizations that work tirelessly to change and improve the state of maternal-child health and maternity care in the United States. Today, we're highlighting the work -- and the upcoming event (see image, right) -- from March for Moms.
March for Moms Association, now in its second year, is a growing, multi-stakeholder grassroots coalition that shares like-minded urgency to improve the well being of mothers in the United States. Their aim is to make the issues and maternal health change-makers more visible to the policymakers responsible for putting change into action. March for Moms is a bipartisan group that does not represent the interests of any one professional group, entity, or association. March for Moms represents moms and their families.
March for Moms' Issues
What exactly are the issues? Glad you asked. Let me share. The issues that March for Moms works toward addressing and improving are:
- Rising maternal mortality and poor health outcomes - The rate of U.S. mothers dying from causes related to pregnancy or childbirth continues to rise. More than 50% of deaths are preventable.
- Perinatal depression - 15-21% of pregnant women experience depression or anxiety. The United States does not have adequate programs in place to address, support, and treat those who need help.
- Health care inequities and disparities - Racial and ethnic women, especially African-American and Hispanic and Latino women, experience disproportionately high poor health outcomes, including infant deaths, than white women.
- Premature birth - Approximately 1 in 10 babies are born too early in the United States, and the number is on the rise.
- Maternity and family leave policies - The United States is the only high-income country, and one of only eight countries in the world, that does not mandate paid leave for mothers of newborns.
- Lack of access to health care - There are big pockets across the United States where mothers do not have access to maternity care and/or insurance.
Clearly, we have a lot of work to do.
You know the issues -- and they are big ones! But you might be wondering, why a march? What good does it do? A march works to make nationally visible these issues. The more people (from the average person to the policymakers) that see, hear, and know the issues, the more we can gather together to make real change. A march can also be an effective way to raise funds to support the efforts in working for change. Organizers of a march can also help inform and educate people on the ground with actionable ways to get involved to reach out, advocate, and create change.
Now's Your Chance - Join Us
March for Moms' second annual rally is Sunday May 6, 2018, 1-4 pm, on the National Mall in Washington DC between 7th and 9th Street. Sister rallies are being planned nationwide as well. Plan now to join March for Moms in May. Lamaze International will be there too, as we are an official partner to the organization. The march will provide fun and family-friendly experiences as people peacefully demonstrate the critical need to address the maternal health of families in our country. Bring your lunch, blankets, lawn chairs and sun umbrellas to enjoy a fantastic spring day on the beautiful DC Mall.
Learn more at marchformoms.org.