On the day I saw those two little lines proclaiming a baby was on the way, my life was changed forever. I was brimming over with more emotions than I could possibly hold. I felt elated at the thought of adding to our family. I was terrified at the thought of being completely responsible for a human life. I was filled with more love for my husband at that moment than I had in all our moments before. I was apprehensive of all the changes I knew were coming.
You know what never crossed my mind though? The fear of dying. Here in Canada where most of us have access to universal health care and adequate nutrition, mothers dying in childbirth is so uncommon that most of us don’t even think about it. Serious maternal, newborn, and child health deficiencies are the exception rather than the norm. But in other parts of the world, maternal and child mortality rates are still unacceptably high.
Every single day, more than 800 women worldwide die from pregnancy or childbirth related complications. And in places like Cambodia, Myanmar, the Philippines, and Rwanda, the most significant causes of maternal and child mortality are acute and chronic malnutrition. Nearly all of these maternal and child deaths are preventable.
How You Can Help
This Mother’s Day and throughout the month of May, ADRA Canada is inviting all Canadians to help raise awareness of these health discrepancies by participating in the #Heart4MaternalHealth social media campaign.
Help raise awareness and send a message of hope by sharing a photo or video with your hands over your belly button in the shape of a heart and the hashtag #Heart4MaternalHealth.
Here’s my heart. Will you show us yours?
Other ways to show you care:
- Join the conversation about global maternal, newborn, and child health challenges on Twitter, using the hashtag #Heart4MaternalHealth.
- Visit ADRA Canada’s Resources page to learn more about maternal and child health.
- Volunteer to help raise awareness among your fellow Canadians.
- Support ongoing maternal, newborn, and child health projects at ADRA Canada.
Show Your Heart for Maternal Health is part of ADRA Canada’s EMBRACE project – Enhancing Maternal, Child and Newborn Health in Remote Areas through Revitalized Health Care and Community Engagement. This four-year initiative, primarily funded by the Government of Canada, aims to improve and save the lives of mothers and children in extremely vulnerable areas of Cambodia, Myanmar, Philippines and Rwanda by improving access to quality health services and enhancing nutrition. EMBRACE is expected to contribute directly to the improved health of approximately 100,000 people, including approximately 33,000 children.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored conversation. Nevertheless, all opinions expressed are completely honest and my own, based on my personal experience. Your experience may differ.