Last month, I had the privilege of visiting the beautiful country of Guatemala with Christy Turlington and her organization, Every Mother Counts. I have to say that it was the trip of a lifetime and I was blown away by the impact Every Mother Counts has on women from all walks of life.
If you’re not familiar with Every Mother Counts, the organization is dedicated to making pregnancy and childbirth safe for every mother, everywhere. When women don’t have access to basic maternal healthcare, they are at an immediate disadvantage and can’t become mother’s in a safe manner. A couple facts just to put things into perspective:
- Every year, 300,000+ women around the world die as a result of complications of pregnancy and childbirth. That’s 1 woman every two minutes.
- Almost all global maternal deaths are preventable.
- In the last 25 years, maternal mortality in the United States has nearly doubled.
- According to the WHO, The United States now ranks 55th in the world for maternal mortality, despite being ranked #1 in the amount spent on maternity care.
As a mom, these facts break my heart. I think about how privileged some of us are, and how we have access to hospitals, healthcare, and necessities for our babies. After exploring other parts of the world, it’s really shocking to see how many others actually don’t have these privileges and I wanted to make it my duty to learn how I can help.
While in Guatemala, I had the chance to visit the Association de las Comadronas del Area Mama (ACAM), which is a traditional birth center with a collective of indigenous midwives. I spent time with the women and children of the community and I connected with them and learned more about their stories and their backgrounds. Sadly, I also learned that Guatemala has the highest maternal mortality rate in Latin America. The midwives at ACAM are doing everything in their power to help save lives and change this very scary, but real, statistic. These midwives work tirelessly to ensure every mom has access to life-saving maternal care because like us, they also acknowledge that no woman should lose her life while trying to bring another beautiful life into the world.
Maternal health is largely overlooked, and the work that Every Mother Counts does directly affects thousands of lives worldwide. In fact, EMC has already directly affected 3,430 lives and that number will continue to increase.
Every single woman regardless of her background or beliefs deserves to have the opportunity to watch her children grow up! I’m so grateful that I had the chance to come on this trip and open my eyes to the reality of what other women go through on a daily basis. I’m making it my goal to support and empower women in different communities and get more involved. If you’re able to make any kind of donation, please do so by visiting their Facebook page. Even the smallest amount makes a difference!
There is no better feeling knowing that you are helping others and giving back. This trip, for me, was magical in every way- filled with so many meaningful memories and I am so grateful to Every Mother Counts, Minted, and Christy for granting me the opportunity to be a part of this journey. I really encourage each of you to learn more and follow EVC on Instagram (@everymomcounts) and you can check out their website here.
& BTW! I was so inspired by my time in Guatemala that I made an entire Amazon idea list for myself and you to browse through! Click here for some beautiful Guatemala-inspired pieces!