Mothers shape the lives of children, impact communities, and sustain nations through their nurturing and work, serving as a lifeline for future generations to come. When a mother dies, her absence is felt throughout the world. Her children have a difficult time surviving and her family suffers, leaving a community more vulnerable to health and economic disparities. Unfortunately, this loss is felt the hardest in low-resource communities across developing countries.
More needs to be done immediately to prevent these tragic deaths.
Everyday 800 women do not survive childbirth or pregnancy in the world. Their babies are up to 10 times more likely to die within two years of their mothers’ death. These staggering statistics are even more heartbreaking knowing that 3.1 million newborns die every year.
With the help of family planning, these tragedies can be averted. WHO research suggests that “more than 1 million deaths of children under five could be prevented by healthier birth spacing of mothers delay conceiving until 36 months after giving birth.” In addition, “approximately 1.1 million fewer newborn and infant deaths can be prevented through improved access to family planning.”
In response to the overwhelming need for family planning resources in the developing world, the Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action (MAMA) is pleased to announce a new set of content created by BabyCenter, in collaboration with global experts, including FHI 360’s Mobile for Reproductive Health (m4RH) team: post-partum family planning messages. The new post-partum family planning messages are an addition to MAMA’s suite of content that includes breastfeeding, immunization, prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV messages as well as messages for husbands and mothers-in-law.
Mothers – “mamas” of the world – will have a new set of tools: post-partum family planning messages in the palm of their hands. These messages will be delivered in a discreet, timely, and culturally sensitive way in the form of text and voice messages via their mobiles.
Today, we released more than 300 post-partum family planning messages accessible through MAMA’s website, www.mobilemamaalliance.org. Here are some sample messages developed by our global experts informed by mothers:
“Enjoy the baby you have – she’ll only be a baby for a short while. Spacing your family gives you time to help each baby develop and learn.”
“You have the right to choose a family planning method that suits you. Find a clinic that offers many choices of family planning methods.”
These messages educate, empower, and engage mothers around the importance of family planning and help them make informed health decisions for themselves and their babies.
As a mother of two children and Global Director of MAMA, I have renewed hope that harnessing the power of mobile phones to deliver post-partum family planning messages to mothers can help prevent senseless deaths across the world. I am proud to add this set of messages to our growing suite of tools and resources.
In honor of mothers around the world, I encourage everyone who reads this post to share MAMA’s new post-partum family planning messages, so that together, we can put the power of health in every mama’s hand.