11,300 babies (US) – 1 million babies (worldwide)

The State of the World’s Mothers report, released by Save the Children, presents new data on the staggering toll of newborn deaths on the first day of life. The report also shares stories from mothers and families affected by this tragedy, in the United States and around the world. This is one of those stories, by mother Angela from Oregon. She tells the story of her daughter Charlotte, who would be celebrating her third birthday next week. Originally published in her blog, cross-posted with permission.

A couple months ago I connected with the non-profit Save the Children. They put out a "State of the World’s Mothers" report every year with a specific focus. The focus this year: newborn health.
 
You can find the full report HERE and a little bit about my experience with infant loss in the sidebar on page 58. (Charlotte’s story is in USA Today as well as The Huffington Post. Find those articles HERE and HERE)
 
A few facts from the report:

 

  • "The US ranks as the 30th best place to be a mother."
  • "The US has 60% of all first-day deaths, but only 38 percent of live births."
  • "Newborn deaths now make up 43% of child deaths (under 5)."
  • "When first-day deaths in the United States are compared to those in the 27 countries making up the European Union, the findings show that European Union countries, taken together, have 1 million more births each year (4.3 million vs. 5.3 million, respectively), but only about half as many first-day deaths as the United States (11,300 in the U.S. vs. 5,800 in EU member countries)."
Charlotte’s death was not preventable but many of the deaths occurring in the US and around the world are. The report details the problems, but it also outlines cost effective solutions.
 
It breaks my heart that so many of these deaths are preventable. In the US, many newborn deaths are linked to premature birth. Women need access to health care – including information about nutrition and the importance of breastfeeding – and quality prenatal as well as postpartum care for themselves and baby.
 
Charlotte’s third birthday is in one week. By sharing our story I hope to prevent pain and loss for future mothers and fathers. I would appreciate it if you would help by visiting the Save the Children website to learn how you can take action, sharing the State of Our World’s Mothers report, the article from USA Today and this post. I can’t buy Charlotte a present, or bake her a cake, or ask her what kind of birthday party she would like, but I can raise awareness about neonatal loss so other families can have all the moments parents expect to with their children.
 
Will you help me?

 


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