Most of us know that Every Mother Counts (EMC) does some pretty inspiring work to support maternal health around the world. If you’re not familiar, Christy Turlington Burns’ 10-year-old organization is aiming to reverse the triggering statistics surrounding maternal mortality and birthing, namely that 303,000 women die around the world as a result of complications of pregnancy and childbirth, 94 percent of which occur in the developing world. By raising awareness, mobilizing communities and investing in local programming, EMC’s goal is to inspire action, drive change and create quality, respectful, and equitable maternity care for all. It’s no wonder then, that Melissa DeRosa, Secretary to the Governor and Chair of the New York State Council on Women and Girls, invited Christy to be on a Covid-19 maternity task force.
Now, in the time of Covid-19, EMC has been hard at work creating safe birthing conditions for women as well as legalizing family care. In late March, the organization mobilized its community to help pass the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201)—a bill that will provide free Covid-19 testing, 14 days paid emergency sick leave, three months paid family and medical leave, expanded unemployment insurance, additional Medicaid dollars and more. And, in case you missed it, it created a resource hub with general information on Covid-19 and maternal health for expecting parents, new moms and providers. It’s also helping its grantees assemble and distribute at-home prenatal care kits featuring fetal dopplers, blood pressure monitors and urine tests, so women can get crucial prenatal information remotely, as well as working with doula organizations in New York, California and Florida to train and equip doulas with technology for telehealth support and offer food and diapers for new mothers.
“Our mission is to make pregnancy safe for every mother everywhere,” an EMC spokesperson says. “During Covid-19, we’re support initiatives that help enable safe and respectful births including equipping our maternity care providers with the proper technology, food, and supplies.”