May 13th was Mother's Day. And the week leading up to Mother's Day, i.e. May 6th to May 12th, was declared as the first ever National Maternal Health Awareness Week by the March for Moms. The main event was in D.C., with sister rallies across the nation, to raise awareness about facts that most people do not expect to be true in the US. For example, Improving Birth reports that the US maternal health care system has some of the worst outcomes in the developed world:
The rate of women who die during childbirth has been rising for the past 20 years, worse than any other developed nation.
Women of color are more likely to suffer serious birth complications.
The rate of premature births has been rising for the past 8 years.
The poor parental leave policies have been a major cause of depression among new parents.
One out of three women has major abdominal surgery during birth.
And we all know the cost of medical care in this country.
I personally did not know most of the above. Learnt these and many other facts while photographing the sister rally in Kirkland.
Mother's Day should be about more than just flowers and brunches. Change is needed; and it starts with awareness. Spread the word!