Did you know that no improvement has been made since 1982 in reducing the maternal mortality rate in the United States?

 In fact, since the 1930s there was a steady reduction in the maternal death rate each year until 1982. The Safe Motherhood Quilt Project is a national effort developed to honor those women who have died of pregnancy-related causes during the past twenty years and to draw public attention to the unchanging maternal death rate. {mosimage}

The Safe Motherhood Quilt is made up of individually designed squares, each one devoted to a woman in the U.S. who has died of pregnancy-related couses since 1982. There are presently 23 squares, with another 6 in the making. The success of our quilt project depends upon networking. The quilt is a voice for women who can no longer speak for themselves. To be honored and remembered on this quilt, the requirement are that

– the woman died as a result of a complication of pregnancy or birth;

– the woman’s death occurred since 1982;

– the woman died within a calendar year after the end of her pregnancy (documented by obituary, death certificate or relative’s account).

One quilt square is designed and dedicated to each mother’s memory and may mention the date, the place, and the name of the woman. Quilt pieces should measure 16 inches horizontally by 12 inches vertically. The creative use of special details (bangles, sequins, etc) is encouraged. A margin of at least one inch should be left on all sides of the quilt square.

If you know any woman whose death fits the particulars of the protocol, contact Ina May Gaskin (mailto:midwifeim@aol.com), or write to her at PO Box 30955, Bethesda MD 20824. More information is available at the Safe Motherhood website, www.rememberthemothers.org, and at the SMI-USA website, www.smi-usa.org.