"A nation's wellbeing can be measured by the health of its mothers and children. By this standard, the United States is very ill."
~Shell Walker Luttrell
It doesn't matter what side of the political fence you are on.
It doesn't matter who you think does or does not deserve access to healthcare, education, food or a clean environment.
The bottom line is this:
Without healthy women and children of all backgrounds, we cannot have a healthy nation.
Without a healthy nation we cannot have a healthy world.
And that is what we want - a healthy world for everyone's children to inherit.
Achieving that goal requires addressing some serious subject matters.
The U.S lags behind much of the world in terms of ensuring maternal health and survival, rating worse than 45 other countries including Japan, U,K and Libya.
U.S women are more likely to die as a result of pregnancy and childbirth than they were two decades ago.
Black women are nearly four times as likely to die as a result of pregnancy and childbirth than White women.
The international community, including the UN, has called for urgent action to address this crisis. The Human Rights Council has recommended that government authorities summon the political will to remedy pervasive racial disparities in maternal health.
Key working groups and conventions have determined solutions to reside within models that provide a holistic and community-based approach to maternity care.
Preterm birth is the leading cause of death amongst infants born to Women of Color
The rate of preterm birth in the US is comprised of 18% Black, 14.1% American Indian/Alaskan Native, 12,2% Hispanic, 11.7 % White and 10.9% Pacific Islander.
Hispanic immigrants typically have better birth outcomes than Black or Native Americans until they acculturate. The longer they are in the U.S, the worse their outcomes become.
Social and generational stress have all be shown to be directly linked to fetal growth restriction, preterm birth, low birth weight, fetal demise, newborn health and maternal health complications.
That is some of what we know. The challenges are significant but so are we!
We also know that creating and supporting healthy ecological and social environments will improve maternal and neonatal outcomes for everyone while also improving every facet of our nation's health.
In fact, we simply cannot have a healthy nation without addressing this crisis. It must be addressed NOW.
Every day represents another chance to stand up for our mothers and our babies, and a chance to improve our world, leaving it a little better than we found it.
On this day, that change begins with The Phoenix Birth Foundation.
We invite you to join us.
In the human spirit
Shell Walker Luttrell