Plan a March for Moms Event in Your Community for May 6!

march for moms.jpgThe second annual March for Moms event takes place in Washington, DC, on Sunday, May 6. Lamaze is proud to be an official partner for the event, which brings attention and change to the critical and dangerous issues people face in pregnancy, birth, and postpartum, including: rising maternal mortality and poor health outcomes, perinatal depression, health inequity and disparities, premature birth, inadequate maternity and family leave policies, and lack of access to healthcare.

We invite you to come out and join us in Washington, DC, for the march -- sign up to meet up with the Lamaze group and get a free t-shirt! If you can't make it up to DC, we understand -- but you don't have to miss out on the march. There are March for Moms sister marches happening in cities all around the United States. Check out the website to see if there's one being organized near you. If there isn't a march nearby, we encourage you to plan a march in your town! 

Planning a March in Your Area

March for Moms has made planning a sister march in your city as pain free as possible for you, even if you’ve never organized an event like this before! If you want to be a March for Moms event coordinator, here's what you need to know:

  1. All events are expected to be held on Sunday May 6th, 2018.
  2. You can choose the type of event that best fits your ability and community needs: a traditional rally or baby fair.
  3. The registration fee is $60 per location.
    • Registration Fee Covers:
      • Access to 2018 Coordinator Facebook group (24/7 support).
      • A Do-It-For-You Rally Kit. Includes a 30+ page handbook, timeline, check lists, media kit (press releases, talking points and media training), documents plus a full support team.
      • Event Liability Insurance (where required).
      • Event promotional materials (marketing postcards, informational handouts and handle bags).
      • 20% off in the merchandise webstore.

To learn more or register, visit the March for Moms site. So many of us have, in one way or another, been affected and shaped by the events of pregnancy, birth, and early parenthood. We are in a position now in our country to work to improve the outcomes of these events for people in our communities. If you're unfamiliar with what the issues are, take a look:

  • 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. Black mothers are 3-4 times more likely to die around the time of birth. 
  • 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. 

So Why March?

You may have some questions about why you should participate or organize this march. The organizers of the event, March for Moms President Ginger Breedlove and Vice President Neel Shah, have answers:
There are a lot of marches these days. Why do we need a march for moms?

The past year has brought the world a lot of shocking news. One positive consequence of these uncertain times is that it has stoked a fire of activism in a way we have not seen in decades. We are seeing people of all stripes stand up and advocate for the issues they care deeply about.

Here’s the thing: Moms are used to putting themselves last in order to put their families first. We believe it is high time to give our moms the support and public investment they deserve. Right now, one in three Americans is born through major surgery—twice as many as are medically necessary. At the same time, we have the highest rates of maternal death and injury, the lowest birth weights, and the widest disparities in the developed world. If that wasn’t bad enough, we also have the worst paid family leave policies in the developed world.
What are you hoping to accomplish? 

March for Moms’ mission is to help align and coordinate the efforts of families, health care providers, policymakers, and other partners who are acting to achieve the best possible health and well-being for all mothers. Society must invest in moms, and understanding the multiple issues involved is necessary to create system-level changes. These changes include establishing maternal death review boards in every state, advocating for routine perinatal depression screening and mental health services, addressing causes of preterm birth, and acknowledging the roll that racism and health inequity play in maternal health outcomes of women of color, particularly African American women.
We all love our own moms, but the way we treat moms collectively in this country is shameful. Moms are resilient—even when things are tough, they seldom complain. The goal of March for Moms is to ensure they get the support and investment they deserve -- we hope that you'll consider taking part in this effort for awareness and advocacy.
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