Happy Mother's Day! I think I speak for all mothers when I say the best Mother's Day gift was the day you became a mom. So this day is very special for us. It honors the strength and sacrifice it takes to be a mom. It's truly a labor of love! That's why I am taking time out from celebrating my personal journey into motherhood this weekend to raise awareness for prenatal health.
A healthy pregnancy and early childhood is not something to take for granted. Most likely you had a obstetrician or midwife inform you that deficiencies in iodine, folic acid, iron and other vitamins and minerals can cause serious harm to mothers and babies, but many women aren’t aware of the problem because they lack access to prenatal care and prenatal vitamins.
The infographic below breaks it down. The statistic that struck me the most is that "poor nutrition is the underlying cause of 35% of all childhood deaths each year." This figure is unacceptable to me because it is a preventable tragedy, especially here in the United States. The U.S. was recently ranked 30th among the best and worst places for mothers and babies because nutritional deficiency in pregnancy still affects a significant number of mothers in our own country. It makes me realize how lucky I am to have had such excellent prenatal care and given birth to two healthy, beautiful babies.
But there is hope for all mothers-to-be. The following nonprofits are working to nourish babies and mommies around the world:
- March of Dimes: helping moms have full-term pregnancies and research the problems that threaten the health of babies.
- Future Fortified: a global campaign to help millions of women and children around the world access to the essential nutrients they need to lead healthy, enriched lives.
- UNICEF-GAIN: working to reducing child and maternal mortality rates in the developing world.