Maternal Mortality: A Personal Outlook

Author: Antonie Tran

The CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) describes maternal mortality as, “ the death of a woman during pregnancy, at delivery, or soon after delivery is a tragedy for her family and society as a whole”. Continuing, “about 700 women die each year in the United States as a result of pregnancy or delivery complications”. Maternal mortality is sad, and in today’s day and age, you would think we would have the technology to reduce maternal mortality. Well, there is technology and techniques to avoid problems during and after pregnancies, but not everyone is open to the same opportunities. Racism is a big problem in the world and even in hospitals.  To find more information about racism and how it affects maternal mortality, check out A2M2’s website (https://a2m2global.org/) and/or my previous blogs. Today, instead of a logical or factual breakdown of this topic, I am going to provide a personal outlook on maternal mortality. I have a few people who like to share their stories. 

In the last blog, I talked about Jeremiah and Andrew, two of my close friends who I have known for a while. These stories affect me closely as I have known them for a long period of time. However, this doesn’t mean I am not affected by maternal mortality, rather the opposite. What I mean is, I don’t know every mother or person who dies in the world. People like Huy and Michelle aren’t close friends, but their families have suffered from the after-effects of maternal mortality. I wanted to get a different perspective on this subject, which is why for this week I chose their stories.

I just recently met Huy, in my in-person Spanish class. As stated previously, we’re not really close, but I got a chance to introduce myself and talk about what A2M2 is and how I work with A2M2. He then gave a short story of how his mother died after giving birth to his sister. He obviously didn’t give me many details (and I didn’t want to pressure him for more details), but I learned a lot from that short conversation. Huy seems like a good person who immigrated to America for a better life. In poorer countries, like Vietnam (where he is from), not many people can afford healthcare or go to hospitals. I know. My parents immigrated from Vietnam a long time ago, and I have visited Vietnam multiple times. Without details. I won’t know what happened to Huy’s mom and his family, but I can hypothesize that the lack of stable healthcare and an unstable economy are the general factors of her demise. I am very sorry for his mom and his family. She deserved the help that the top 1% get in America. Everybody in the world should get the help they deserve, but unfortunately, that’s now how the world works. 

The other story I wanted to talk about was Michelle’s. Unlike Huy, she was born in the United States of America and lived with her mom for most of her life. I met Michelle at one of the clubs I run at my high school. When I first saw her, she was a ball of joy, I would have never expected her to have lost someone in her life. She’s always positive, happy, and overall it’s like she could never be sad. This obviously isn’t the case, and she talked to me about her life. For my club, I talked to all my members privately to check up on them, as any good leader would. Things like how are you, how’s school, how’s your family doing. When I asked her the last question, she tensed up, but then played it off. She said that her dad was fine and her mom isn’t alive. I felt bad for asking, but she said it was fine and that she’s been trying to move on. Her mother died giving birth to her younger sister a few years back. Michelle wasn’t at the hospital, rather she was at a soccer game. She regrets that moment, as she believes she missed out on her mom’s last moments. Things like these, the lingering guilt, the lasting regret, and the eternal sadness, that result from maternal mortality are horrible. Death in of itself is sad but losing the one person who created you and loved you, is devastating. I wouldn’t know though. I love my mother and appreciate her. She cooks for the family, she goes to work, and she checks up on me. I definitely take her for granted, so when I see people like Michelle I feel sad for them. I may not know her that well, but I know Michelle cared about her mom, making this story a sad one. 

Maternal mortality is a serious matter in the world. It isn’t the world’s biggest priority, but it is a problem that affects families all over the nation, all over the world. The lack of knowledge and technology can kill, especially in poorer countries like Vietnam. By working with A2M2 and supporting A2M2, we can work together to bring awareness to this everlasting problem and slowly overcome maternal mortality. Make sure to check out the website and all of the other awesome blogs on there. Thanks for reading!

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