United States, New York, Christy Turlington Burns discussed on Amanpour

Amanpour
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And that's what makes it so urgent and we sat down in New York to talk about her campaign. Every mother counts Christy Turlington Burns. Welcome to of the program. We have just seen a really dramatic piece in my introduction to you of a very intimate scene in which you are in distress in labor. You've just given birth to your child and then it gets very dangerous. Few 'cause you hemorrhage. Remind us of what happened. When you give birth to your daughter grace yes so after very very good pregnancy complications at all lots of birth options a great team taking care of me and a supportive partner. the unexpected unexpected happened. I delivered grace. I didn't know that she was going to be a girl. So the most exciting thing was that I was meeting my daughter for the first time and then after we're having a you know a few minutes really bonding with her. She latched onto breastfeed. Everything was going well as it should be and I was you know sort of euphoric. I can feel the the feeling in the room just changed the nurses and the midwife got a little bit nervous and what I later learned was that after a certain period of time when the Placenta doesn't expel it becomes quite toxic inside the body and so so it needed to be extracted attracted and because I had an unmedicated natural delivery that meant without any pain medication or anything like that what about it talk to your activism because you could have thought well you know it was my bad luck. You know it took a little while to process. I would say the I think in those first few days as I was sharing my story where people would come to visit me or and I would talk about it and I learned that other people had a similar kind of complication or other complications that I was not aware of in my pregnancy but then I don't know year or so later when I was pregnant with my son I was able to travel to El Salvador which is where my mom was born and where I spent some in time in my youth and visiting an NGO and some programs there. That's where I had the Aha moment is about six months pregnant and my mother's country and on we're in very poor communities hours away from the capital city and in one particular site visit where we were visiting a water project a lot of women had come either with small children on their backs or pregnant and that's where I kind of put my feet in their shoes and I thought had I had the delivery with my daughter in this community where women had to walk miles to get to clean water where all of the homes were ten rude where there was no electricity with the roads were paved saved and where you're two hours away from a hospital. I learned that a woman could bleed out with the same complication I had if you don't get to that emergency obstetric care with into two hours maybe sooner and I was stunned to learn. I assume you were that in terms of maternal mortality the US is the only Western country where this is is rising exactly so in two thousand three when I delivered my daughter the global estimate was five hundred and thirty thousand girls and women were estimated to die every year and those numbers hadn't budged conduct decades it was only when I was travelling in El Salvador that I learned where the US was and I was shocked to learn that the US was ranked forty first at that time ah I learned also that really of all the developed countries in the world we are doing the worst we're one of thirteen countries with a rising maternal mortality rate and that was completely clearly shocking and I learned a New York that were also really poorly ranked in fact New York City African American women are twelve times more likely to die than Caucasian women and that's three or four times more than the national average which is shocking. Why is this happening here in the United States. What is it that makes this this this figure keep rising. It's interesting because the US is complex for many reasons it could be fifty countries versus fifty states when I was going through the exploration of figuring out how I would be a good advocate. I went back to school to work in a masters in Public Health at Columbia and then I started a documentary film and that film No woman no cry was really Kinda thesis in a way of my exploring lower the barriers and challenges in a number of countries and the US was part of that exploration process. There are a number of reasons why we're doing so poorly for one we have a lot of chronic health conditions that are on the rise such as diabetes and obesity that impacts the outcomes of pregnancy not only for babies but for mother's there's also racial disparities that are have been a problem for for a very long time but now we're really focusing on what's driving that and what we're learning from talking to women and hearing more stories from women women who experience near-misses which is very very common if women don't die there twenty to thirty others who will suffer lifelong disabilities related to childbirth and pregnancy and we're hearing from women that they're not listened to or their disregarded in hospitals. The stats are a crazy. Some doctors can enter the specialty of maternal fetal medicine even complete training without spending any time in the Labor delivery unit. I mean it's extraordinary. Serena Williams obviously a major star who had her first baby girl a nearly died in that process she also wrote about it and focused on what you're talking about. which was the racial disparity? What can be done about? What does your organization do well. We've been really trying to educate the public about about this as an issue generally at the local level at the national level at the international level but we've also tried to really invest in healthcare providers mid level providers not every pregnancy requires a physician. We partner with a lot of community led organizations. It's very important for women who are most vulnerable to see themselves and the providers that that provide care for them and so it's really important for them to be getting care pre. Nataly as well as throughout their pregnancies and postpartum. We try to educate people about family planning and family spacing which is controversial all but it is the most effective way to keep the mother safe. I'm throughout the rest of it must be gratifying to you to see and I think it's for the first time that all the major Democratic presidential candidates are putting this issue pretty heavily on their agenda. Are You satisfied satisfied with the way the Democratic candidates are pledging to combat this. I an I mean ten years ago. When I started every mother counts there were a few bills that were introduced. I and they just passed at the end of twenty eight ten years and years. I spent an early part of this year actually in May around Mother's Day on the hill talking to members on both sides and a lot of them had the attitude of what we pass these other two things. Why do we need war and if there are Democrats introducing these bills we you don't WanNa be on their side so we can't possibly so that's frustrating the way that it works at the government level you film and You you talked about no woman. No Oh cry and their scenes from other parts of the world where you were investigating this and we're going to play a clip and this one's from Tanzania and it's all about a woman in distress trying to get get to somewhere safe a hospital to have her baby. We're not turtle. Laurent Bio one idea particularly Wendy do neither did I but certain Janet's Labor is not progressing and the threat of death for both baby and mother is palpable with no money to pay for food food or transport the nurses ask us to help. We arranged for a van to take Janet the nearest hospital an hour away did did that shock you that you actually had to intervene. There was nobody else but your team to actually pay for vehicle to take this woman to somewhere safe clinic to have her baby. I mean I think if we hadn't been there. Probably the nurses would have come together and found some way to pull together funds and they do do that from time to time. It's very I mean I'm not a traditional filmmaker and that was my first film but we did break the fourth wall because the last thing that I wanted to do was sit hit by it watched if we could help at that time I really hadn't taken in that even a hospital. That's forty five kilometers.

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