March for Moms shines light on number of women who die after giving birth

(KCTV)

The March for Moms took place on Sunday to bring awareness to maternal mortality as one local county sees a high number of deaths.

Women of all ages are fighting for safer and better ways to birth.

The aim of the March for Moms across the nation is to discuss how to decrease the number of women who die after childbirth.

It was the first year the rally took place in Kansas City.

“A lot of women, like I said, don’t know that this is an issue, so they get pregnant and go into the hospital and this can really affect young mothers and families,” said Jamie Harrington with Kansas Midwives.

According to the United Health Foundation, the numbers are frighteningly high, especially in Missouri.

The mortality rate in Missouri following childbirth is 28.5 deaths per 100,000 live births. That’s compared to the national average of 19.9.

In Kansas, that rate is 19.6 and inching closer to that national average. Wyandotte county has one of the highest numbers.

Part of the problem is access to care

“We are not getting to a lot of those women that are underserved in urban areas, you know, and not getting adequate prenatal care and we are not sticking with them postpartum,” Harrington said. “They are not getting paid maternity leave and they go to work right away.”

Ilana Silverstein, who is just two months away from her due date and is coordinating the rally, said there needs to be a change.

“I feel awful that the system is so different for different women depending on skin color and where you live,” she said.

She said that because women of color are dying about four times the rate of other women.

Silverstein adds that knowing your resources is a start.

“Educating women so that, when they are in labor and delivering their babies, they know their choices and they are not being bullied into something they are not being comfortable with,” she said.

Experts said better ways of birth will also help with issues like postpartum depression.

Leaders plan to continue the march in Kansas City next year.

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