NYT celebrates Mother’s Day with innovative ideas to stem the epidemic of maternal mortality

The New York Times put together an incisive (and much needed) collection of editorials today in honor of Mother’s Day — each looking at a different possible solution for the growing problem posed by maternal morbidity and mortality. We’ve reposted the articles below:

A Birth Pill by Amy Grossman
An analysis of misoprostol, an inexpensive and hardy drug that prevents and treats postpartum hemorrhage (and a major focal point for us here at Saving Mothers). Grossman, a communications manager at Venture Strategies for Health and Development, asserts that the drug has the potential to save thousands of lives every year.

A Dose of Care by Helen Epstein
A gap in education for new mothers, especially in relation to feeding practices, leaves many babies in developing regions malnourished. Many refuse to eat due to a lack of attachment to their mothers, others go hungry when new parents aren’t aware of healthy feeding schedules. Epstein is the author of “The Invisible Cure: Why We Are Losing the Fight Against AIDS in Africa.” She recommends counseling for mothers centered on this important and often overlooked issue.

An Education by Esther Duflo
An argument for better, more cost effective education for young girls as a strategy for delaying pregnancy. Duflo advises a nonprofit called Innovation for Poverty Action that implemented a program to provide 5,000 adolescent girls with free school uniforms, decreasing the dropout rate by a third and the pregnancy rate by 4 percent.

A Safer Labor by L. Lewis Wall
With so many women in developing countries requiring cesarean sections to ensure healthy deliveries for both them and their babies, it is crucial the more medical facilities have the tools and trained personnel needed to carry out safe procedures. As a professor of obstetrics and gynecology and anthropology at Washington University, Wall has operated on many fistula patients injured during obstructed labor that could have easily been avoided by proper cesareans.

A Custom Drug by Ruth Faden, Anne Drapkin Lyerly and Maggie Little
The three authors shed light on a little-discussed problem: the fact that many women around the world are unable to get the drugs they need due to pregnancy. Because pregnancy is a contraindication for so many medications, women are often exposed to the dangers of illnesses and infections that have a many more negative ramifications.

Happy reading, and happy Mother’s Day!


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