Maternal Health Awareness: A Call to Action in the Face of Crisis
Published: Jan. 9, 2024
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Maternal Health Awareness: A Call to Action in the Face of Crisis

Every year on January 23rd, we mark a day dedicated to the well-being of mothers, a day to shine a light on the undeniable truth: Maternal health matters. This year, with the theme “Access in Crisis,” the urgency amplifies. Access to quality, affordable maternal healthcare is not a luxury, it is a fundamental right, yet for too many mothers and families, it remains a precarious dream.

The Numbers Speak, the Stories Cry Out:

  • The United States, a nation with immense resources, has the worst maternal mortality rate among developed nations.
  • Black and Hispanic mothers are two to three times more likely to die from pregnancy complications than white mothers.
  • Rural communities grapple with hospital closures and dwindling healthcare options, leaving mothers vulnerable and isolated.

These are not mere statistics; they are human lives shattered, families fractured, and futures dimmed. Each number represents a mother, a daughter, a sister, a friend whose absence leaves an echoing void.

Breaking the Cycle: From Awareness to Action:

Maternal Health Awareness Day is not just a day to lament; it is a day to ignite change. It is a call to action for everyone – individuals, communities, healthcare providers, and policymakers:

  • Individuals: Educate yourselves about maternal health issues, advocate for access within your communities, and support organizations working for change.
  • Communities: Foster open dialogues about maternal health, break down stigmas, and build networks of support for pregnant mothers and families.
  • Healthcare Providers: Commit to culturally competent, equitable care, address implicit biases, and ensure access to comprehensive, quality prenatal and postpartum services.
  • Policymakers: Invest in maternal healthcare infrastructure, expand Medicaid access, champion policies that address racial and socioeconomic disparities in healthcare outcomes including affordable childcare for all families.

Small Steps, Big Impact:

Every action, however small, can make a difference. Sharing resources, volunteering time, donating to maternal health organizations, or simply speaking up for better access – all these contribute to the collective wave of change.

On Maternal Health Awareness Day, let us not just acknowledge the crisis, but rise to meet it with unwavering commitment. Let us build a world where every mother, no matter her background or zip code, has the chance to experience a healthy pregnancy, a safe birth, and a thriving future.

Let us make “Access in Crisis” a rallying cry, not a resigned sigh. Let us make this day, and every day thereafter, a testament to our collective power to create a healthier, more equitable world for mothers and their families.

Together, we can turn the tide. Together, we can ensure that every mother has the right to thrive.

#MaternalHealthAwareness #AccessInCrisis #EveryMomMatters

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This blog was written by Fabiana Izquierdo Jaen, MD, FAAP at Pediatric Associates’ Skylake office.