Last night I attended the Seattle premiere of the documentary No Woman, No Cry.
Most folks know Christy Turlington Burns from her successful career as a supermodel, but few know the serious complications that occurred after the birth of her first child.
Luckily, Mrs. Burns was in a birthing center inside of a respected hospital and was given the necessary medical attention to heal safely, but what she learned following her ordeal is that many women aren't so fortunate. In fact, women without access to similar care could have died in a the same situation.
This inspired her to learn more about women's health (she's currently earning her Master's of Public Health at Columbia University) and travel to different countries to examine maternal health through a closer lens.
She and her film crew visited Tanzania, Guatemala, Bangladesh and also a clinic within the United States. In each place they found challenges that no pregnant woman should have to face: proximity to care, access to care, money to pay the hospital, etc.
The film spotlights various expectant mothers in each setting and chronicles the pain and suffering they sometimes endure just to bring a new life into the world. In what was the hardest part for me to watch, she also visits an American widower who lost his wife during a natural childbirth in what he describes as both the best and worst day of his life. Absolutely devastating.
The film is currently 'on tour' with Mrs. Burns presenting after the screenings, and will make its television debut on OWN on Mother's Day.
It's something everyone should see, regardless of gender or economic status.
To learn more about the film, visit everymothercounts.org.