On Mother's Day, I always like to reflect back to the happy days when I was pregnant with my two boys. Both experiences were wonderful and life-changing for me. I had easy pregnancies, where I was able to enjoy the many benefits of pregnancy bliss—guilt-free eating, relaxing, and just embracing my natural glow while watching my belly grow. I had relatively easy deliveries with my children, and I was surrounded by family, and supportive doctors and nurses.
Mother's Day is a perfect time to remind ourselves that safe, easy pregnancies and childbirth are not always the case. Every day, more than 800 women around the world die from pregnancy or childbirth related complications. When I heard this high number, it astounded me. How can this still be the case? I'm so honoured to be supporting ADRA Canada and standing up for Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health (MNCH) this month.
MNCH is one of the most common acronyms used in discussions about global health, but many of us here in Canada haven't heard of it because in this great country of ours, access to health care and nutrition ensures MNCH deficiencies are the exception—and not the norm. However, in other parts of the world, MNCH is a major concern as maternal and child mortality rates are unacceptably high.
This Mother's Day, ADRA Canada—part of the world-wide ADRA network—is working hard to end extreme poverty in some of the poorest communities in the world, and calling on Canadians to show their heart for maternal health by helping raise much-needed awareness through social media.
The Show your Heart for Maternal Health campaign encourages Canadians to raise awareness for MNCH by sharing a picture or video of your hands places over your belly button in the shape of a heart, and using the hashtag #Heart4MaternalHealth.
"Pregnancy is a time for full hearts and joy, but because of poor maternal health in developing countries and remote communities, it often ends in heartbreak," says James Astleford, Executive Director of ADRA Canada.
The most significant causes of maternal and child mortality in developing countries are high rates of acute and chronic malnutrition of mothers and children. By increasing awareness of MNCH among Canadians, we are sending a message of hope and support—encouraging more Canadians to take action.
Show Your Heart For Maternal Health is part of ADRA Canada's EMBRACE project—a four-year initiative primarily funded by the Government of Canada.
Show your Heart for Maternal Health is designed to develop a deeper understanding of global MNCH in Canada and to drive involvement of Canadians. Nearly all maternal and child deaths are preventable and by helping to improve MNCH, we can help save lives. You can participate in this worthwhile campaign until the end of May.
Disclaimer: I am working in partnership with this organization and have received compensation to raise awareness for this worthwhile cause. All views and opinions are my own.