Sunday is Mother’s Day, when we celebrate our moms and everything they do for us. I’m lucky enough to have a loving and supportive mom, mother-in-law and grandmother, all living right here in Sheridan.
But not everyone is so fortunate. Every day, 830 women die of pregnancy-related causes around the world.
This week, The Rockefeller Foundation launched #WithoutMom, a social media campaign that asks what the world would look like without mothers.
No, this isn’t a play on “Trading Mom,” the 1994 cult film in which three latch-key kids cast a spell to make their strict single mom disappear, then learn the lesson of how wonderful she is after shopping at a “Mommy Market.”
Instead, The Rockefeller Foundation is raising awareness of the very real problem of maternal mortality.
You could be forgiven for thinking that this is only a dilemma in third-world countries. But in actuality, the United States has the highest maternal mortality rate of any developed country. And it’s on the rise.
An American mother today is 50 percent more likely to die during childbirth than her own mother.
This tracks when we zoom into Wyoming, where, according to the United Health Foundation, approximately 22 women for every 100,000 births died in 2016 due to poor management during pregnancy or childbirth. By 2018, the number had climbed to 24.6 per 100,000 births. This data excludes all deaths from accidental or incidental causes.
The deaths of these mothers are avoidable. The causes stem from poor access to quality health care, limited data and racial bias, all of which can and should be eliminated.
This brings me back to the #WithoutMom campaign, which kicked off on Capitol Hill Tuesday with a bipartisan event led by a Republican senator from Tennessee and a Democratic senator from Washington.
In the days since, #WithoutMom has trended on social media, thanks to an emotional one-and-a-half-minute video that features clips of celebrities, political leaders and grassroots activists around the world thanking their mothers.
So what can we do to help women in Wyoming, in the U.S. and across the world survive?
We join the fight for moms! The Rockefeller Foundation has identified seven global organizations that are fighting to ensure access to high-quality maternal care, which would diminish preventable deaths related to pregnancy and childbirth.
Find the list, watch the video and learn more at WithoutMom.org. And give your mom an extra squeeze this weekend!