A woman dies in childbirth or because of pregnancy complications every two minutes, according to the United Nations. Maternal mortality has been a major issue since the beginning of time but has fallen in recent years due to advancements in technology and the effort to decrease the number of women dying due to complications of pregnancy.
However, the issue of maternal deaths is still a prominent one, especially in the developing world where fewer resources are available, though this is also an issue domestically as well.
There is a group aiming to change that, and they have a chapter on Rowan’s campus.
Saving Mothers is a national organization with the hope of ending the crisis in maternal mortality worldwide. According to their website, Saving Mothers believes “No woman should die giving life. Saving Mothers is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to eradicating preventable maternal deaths and birth-related complications in low-resource settings.”
Rowan’s chapter was founded about four years ago. The chapter is not an official student chapter but aims to become one soon. Current president Nick Samson joined one year after the club was started at Rowan.
“I know it was a group of friends that found the motivation behind Saving Mothers relatively inspirational, so I think that’s why they created the club,” said Samson.
Rowan’s on-campus chapter helps to raise money and awareness for the larger organization. In late October, the group made Halloween candy gloves and sold them outside of the Chamberlain Student Center and held a trivia night with questions about maternal health statistics as fundraisers for the national organization.
The club also aims to educate, specifically the campus community.
“We made it a goal this year to make educating our population a point… just teaching them about maternal health care disparities, disparities worldwide. You know what organizations like Saving Mothers are doing to help those disparities,” said Samson.
There is no requirement that members be any specific major, though the club is made up largely of students seeking careers in the medical field.
Saving Mothers Vice President Ariana Blake is a biological science major who hopes to be an obstetrician in the future.
“I basically really wanted to join because I want to be an obstetrician… I want to be an advocate for women’s health… my mom went through a couple of things… it really switched my interest from just regular like, family medicine to obstetrics, and I really believe that it made me change my open mind as to how mothers need to be protected when they’re pregnant… like we’re not protected enough,” said Blake.
Though there are no specific plans for collaborations yet, the group hopes to partner with the Wellness Center and other health-based student groups on campus.
“I think it’s really important for maternal mortality to be highlighted… I think for persons who have any interest in going into this field it’s important for them to know, even for like, students who plan to have kids or students who are currently mothers. It’s just important information for them to know. Or even if they experienced it in going through their pregnancy and used this club to help them become an advocate,” said Blake.
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