A mother who had just cradled her newborn son died seconds later from an unknown cause.
Another tragic and heart rending story, as yet another baby will grow up without his mother. In this case the mother had just had a caesarean section. An enquiry is under way to discover the cause of her death, but I strongly suspect that it will be concluded that she died from a Amniotic Fluid Embolism.
This is a horrifying tragedy for this family- and my heart breaks for them- but it is not a lone event. Unfortunately this happens a lot more often then most people could possibly suspect. Besides the very real risk of having an Amniotic Fluid Embolism, caesarean births are major abdominal surgery and carry with it the risks inherent with any major surgery, including death.
I have to wonder if this family, these new parents, were ever told the risks before she was rolled into the surgery?
In the US, Ina May Gaskin- probably the most famous midwife in the world- has started the "Safe Motherhood Quilt Project".
The Safe Motherhood Quilt Project is a national effort developed to draw public attention to the current maternal death rates, as well as to the gross underreporting of maternal deaths in the United States, and to honor those women who have died of pregnancy-related causes since 1982.
The Project is the vision of Ina May Gaskin, midwifery pioneer and author of Ina May's Guide to Childbirth and the classic Spiritual Midwifery, who has been instrumental in bringing this issue to the public light.
The quilt is made up of individually designed squares; each one devoted to a woman in the U.S. who has died of pregnancy-related causes since 1982. One quilt square is designed and dedicated to each mother's memory and may mention the date and place of death and the name of the woman. The Safe Motherhood Quilt is the voice for women who can no longer speak for themselves.
To be honored and remembered on The Safe Motherhood Quilt:
- The woman died as a result of a complication of pregnancy or birth
- The woman's death occurred since 1982
- The woman died within a calendar year after the end of her pregnancy (documented by an obituary, death certificate, relative's or witness' account).
We need to bring these stories out from the dark closet that they are hidden in. We need to bring awareness to women that "This Could Be YOU", that no one is 100% safe from the risks that come with unnecessary medical interventions and Caesarean Sections. We KNOW that the C/Section rates are far too high. We KNOW that 9 to 5 C/Sections are becoming more and more mainstream. And we KNOW that most families are NOT being fully informed of the risks before hand.
Every woman needs to Know their Rights, and they need to educate, enlighten and prepare themselves before heading to the L&D floor. Because chances are, the hospital staff are going to leave them in the dark.