“We will only understand the miracle of life fully when we allow the unexpected to happen.” – Paulo Coelho
The figures are startling. Every year around the world 287,000 women die in what should be the most joyous time of life: Having a baby. That means one woman dies every 2 minutes or 800 a day, during pregnancy and childbirth.
As a mother of two children who suffered two high-risk births, I can’t even begin to imagine what it would be like to be pregnant in a developing nation. It is not surprising that the majority of women (over 56% of the total) who die are in sub-Saharan Africa, a region of the world that is engulfed in extreme poverty. When you compare the mortality rates to women in the Western world, 99% of all deaths take place in the developing world.
In Ethiopia alone, one of the poorest countries in the world, 90% of women give birth at home and for every 100,000 women who give birth in the country, 676 women die from delivery and childbirth complications. Further accentuating the problem in the fact that Ethiopian women, who have little or no access to family planning or contraception, have on average 4.8 babies who survive. These numbers alone put women at high risk of dying and not living to see their babies grow up or raise the others.