Lucina Maternity Announces 'Save a Mother’s Life'

A Public Awareness Campaign to Reduce Maternal Death and Near-Death in the U.S.A.

Online PR News – 02-May-2013 –Just in time for Mother’s Day, the board of Lucina Maternity announces its first public awareness campaign “Save a Mother’s Life” focused on raising awareness about maternal deaths and near-misses in the U.S.A.

“This Mother's Day, we are drawing attention to the fact that maternal deaths and near-miss incidents in this country are higher than many people would like to believe” says Lucina Maternity Chairman and Founder, Dr. James Byrne, OB/MFM. “Two women will die every day in our country due to pregnancy and childbirth complications. Each day, 93 pregnant women will experience a near-miss; (an unplanned event that did not result in maternal injury or death – but had the clear potential to do so); many of those cases are preventable.”

The announcement was made today by Dr. Byrne; Executive Director, Ms. Deira Gerritsen; Director of Collaborative Practice Development, Leslie Cragin, CNM, PhD, FACNM; and board member Swarup Reddi, PhD.

“Our first public awareness campaign, launched in time for Mother’s Day, is Save a Mother’s Life” said Gerritsen.

According to new research from the pharmaceutical company Merck, only 11 percent of U.S. adults have read, seen, or heard anything about the issue in the past year.

“The goal is simple – awareness saves lives. One third of all pregnancies experience unexpected complications, so women and their partners need to know the facts” said Gerritsen. “The foundation is committed to working with the women of the U.S.A. and medical care providers to scale up effective public awareness efforts and to continue to build out practices that integrate physicians with midwives in a collaborative model of care that has been proven to reduce intervention and provide safer outcomes.”

The foundation has identified two core strategic initiatives as part of its focused public awareness program:

o “Save a Mother’s Life” is a six month social media and print ad campaign, including:
• Facebook page - featuring photos and stories of women who have survived and families who have lost mothers.
• A Mother’s Day blog blitz – Lucina is partnering with grass-roots pregnancy and childbirth bloggers, as well as established voices in the field, such as the Huffington Post, Every Mother Counts and KQED in San Francisco.

o The Unexpected Project -- a documentary featuring stories of mothers who have suffered maternal death or near misses. The documentary will ask doctors, researchers, and childbirth experts to help these women and their families understand what happened. The Unexpected Project is the brainchild of Preeclampsia Foundation co-founder, Anne Garrett Addison, and writer Jennifer Binkley Carney, both near-miss survivors.

• Increase Blood donation by highlighting hemorrhage, a leading cause of maternal death and near-miss in the U.S.

The Ask is simple and painless:
1) Donate $10 in honor of a mother
2) Donate blood (hemorrhage is a leading cause of maternal death – donating blood saves lives)
3) Share your story on our Facebook page - personal stories, and photos of real families struggling to make sense of these largely preventable tragedies.

“This is a unique and wide ranging coalition of partners all working together under a single nationwide project,” said Gerritsen. ”We hope that by combining the abilities of these partners, we will significantly enhance the effectiveness of maternal death and near-miss awareness efforts.”

About Lucina Maternity – Lucina Maternity/Lucina Health Foundation is a U.S. based 501(c)(3) founded in Silicon Valley, CA, in 2011. Its mission is “The reduction of preventable maternal and infant deaths and injuries in the United States by improving the delivery of maternal health care.”

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