Womens History Month and Maternal Mortality

March 21, 2023

March is Women's History Month, a time to celebrate the achievements of women throughout history and recognize their ongoing struggles for equality. One area where women continue to face significant challenges in maternal health. Despite being one of the wealthiest nations in the world, the United States has a higher maternal mortality rate than any other developed country. The maternal mortality crisis is especially acute for women of color, who are up to four times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white women. 

One of the main factors contributing to the maternal mortality crisis is the lack of access to quality healthcare. This is particularly true for low-income women and women of color, who are more likely to live in areas with limited healthcare resources and face discrimination in the healthcare system. Other factors that contribute to the crisis include chronic health conditions, such as obesity and hypertension, and lack of education about maternal health. 

Despite the challenges, there are many resources available to help women access quality maternal healthcare. Here are a few resources that can be particularly helpful for women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant: 

  1. Arizona Department of Health Services: The Department's Maternal and Child Health Program works to improve the health of mothers and babies in Arizona. The program provides resources and support to improve birth outcomes and reduce maternal mortality. 

  1. Planned Parenthood: Planned Parenthood provides a wide range of reproductive health services, including prenatal care, childbirth education, and postpartum care. They also offer information and resources on birth control, sexually transmitted infections, and other reproductive health issues. 

  1. Black Mamas Matter Alliance: The Black Mamas Matter Alliance is a national organization that works to improve maternal health outcomes for Black women. They offer resources and support for Black women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, as well as advocacy and education on maternal health issues. 

  1. Arizona Birth Network: This nonprofit organization advocates for evidence-based, family-centered maternity care and provides resources for families to make informed decisions about their care. 

  1. Arizona Rural Women's Health Network: This organization advocates for policies that improve women's health and access to care, including maternal health. They also provide resources and education on women's health topics, including maternal mortality. 

  1. Southwest Indigenous Women's Coalition: This institute focuses on research and advocacy to improve the health of Indigenous women and their families in Arizona and the Southwest. Their work includes addressing maternal health disparities in Indigenous communities. 

  1. Maternal Health Task Force: The Maternal Health Task Force is a global organization that works to improve maternal health outcomes. Their website includes resources and information on maternal health issues, as well as research and advocacy on maternal health policy. 

These resources can help women access the care and support they need to have a healthy pregnancy and childbirth. As we celebrate Women's History Month, it's important to remember that women's health is a fundamental part of women's rights and equality. By supporting maternal health and working to address the maternal mortality crisis, we can help ensure that all women have the opportunity to live healthy, fulfilling lives.