A woman dies every 90 seconds from pregnancy and childbirth complications.
In 90% of these cases, the deaths are preventable if given adequate medical care.
There’s a woman I want you to meet, though you probably recognize her from the catwalk, magazine spreads and beauty commercials.
I want you to meet Christy Turlington Burns, not as the supermodel, but as the force behind Every Mother Counts, a campaign for maternal/child healthcare and the director of “No Woman No Cry.”
This is an issue that’s very close to my heart. When we found out that I was pregnant with Andrew, both Scott and I were self-employed and only could afford bare-bones health insurance.
Pregnancy and childbirth were not covered and so I had to sit down with each of my doctors and the hospital to put together a cash payment plan to pay for my basic routine checkups and delivery. That plan didn’t even cover medications, lab work or any abnormalities that might arise. My skeleton insurance covered emergencies that related to ME but “not the fetus,” according to the company.
That meant if something happened to the baby inside my womb, but did not threaten my own life, I was not covered.
It’s not cheap to have a baby and I remember going through 9 months of stress – our monthly doctor and hospital payment plan came first before rent, gas, car and household expenses. What if something happened? What if the baby inside me had complications? How were we going to afford everything?
Luckily, everything was fine and the only thing abnormal about Andrew was that he was a massive drooler, clocking in at needing 7 fresh bibs an hour.
I was lucky. 343,000 other women in the world aren’t and will die this year.
You can watch the premiere of her documentary “No Woman No Cry” on Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) on Saturday May 7, 2011 at 9:30 pm ET/PT.
Come read my interview with Christy – I got to chat with her about what inspired her work in maternal health and documentary.