We might say that to be injured by pregnancy or through birthing at age 25 is extremely sad; that at the age of 30, it is deeply traumatic, or maybe, that at the age of 40, it is devastating. But what words should we apply when pregnancy injures -- for life -- a 10-, 11- or 12-year-old?
Until a decade ago, fistula was literally not on the global health agenda, even though it is arguably the most devastating and disabling of all childbirth injuries. The simple reason: women who suffer from fistula live almost exclusively in rural areas of very resource constrained countries, and are therefore some of the least empowered human beings on the planet.
During her pregnancy, every expectant mother has bright hopes for the new life she carries. She may have concerns about her ability to care for a newborn. But depending on where she in the world she lives, her fear may be much deeper and more fundamental: "Will my baby survive childbirth?" Or, "Will I?"
Part of the problem in the US is that we simply don't know exactly why women are dying, or even how many are. It is hard to be aware when we don't have a system that tracks these deaths and near-misses in a uniform fashion in all 50 states. Let me state that plainly - many states do not even have "pregnancy-related" on the death certificate. If we don't ask the question, how will we ever know the answer?
This month, as many of my colleagues around the world celebrate motherhood, I work towards a future where all the mothers in my community have access to safe and healthy pregnancies -- a future free of the cries that once filled the homes of my neighbors.
Let me tell you the stories of two mothers who are worlds apart, but share the worst thing that ever happened to them. Both Angela and Kismati still feel the loss of their baby every day, but I'm inspired by the hope found amidst their stories, and within these brave women themselves.
A woman has nine months to prepare for the day that her baby will arrive -- healthy and full of promise, imagining the love she and her child will have for each other. Sadly, every year, more than one million babies die on the first day of life -- many from preventable causes.
I thought to myself that if Bobby, a senior in high school, a young man with his whole life in front of him, wasn't asking "why," then I had no right to do so. Instead, I told myself I would find a purpose, a purpose for this brain tumor.
We're not inclined to upload photos of artisan sandwiches to Instagram, but this week we're going all out for good reason. Except there'll be no pictures of arugula or baguettes in sight. We've taken on the Global Poverty Project's Live Below the Line challenge to spend $1.50 a day on food and drink for five days.
My mother was talking about more than energy level and circadian rhythm. It's also an expression of the belief that the future will be an improvement upon the past. It is about faith, determination and progress.
While I'd been studying the health care system with a powerful research lens, it wasn't until I heard my father's voice break as he described his ongoing battle with this broken system that I truly understood the purpose of my work.
Today, 2.5 billion people don't have access to toilets. Investing in sanitation leads to healthier people and stronger communities. The Bill & Mel...
Not every woman is lucky enough to give birth in a modern delivery room, like I was. But no woman, anywhere, should have to suffer a life of misery and isolation simply for trying to bring a child into this world.
As the Special Envoy for Malaria, I have witnessed and heard too many tragedies of parents in sub-Saharan Africa who woke in the night, their child de...
A worldwide 1,000-day countdown begins today and has the potential to accelerate efforts to save and improve millions of lives by the end of 2015.
When I served as Prime Minister of Norway for more than 10 years, I was called "mother of the nation." This was such an honor -- as the title of mother is something to be proud of!
When they are young we teach our kids to look both ways before crossing the road, we tell them that skull and crossbones on a container means poison, and we warn them about talking to strangers. We don't, however, talk to them about what to do if an adult does something to hurt them or make them feel uncomfortable.
For many women around the world postpartum support comes from partners, family, and friends who rally to help out and give the new mom a chance to regain her strength and focus on bonding with her baby. The type of support moms get and the length of time they receive that support vary around the world.