The Motherhood knows that moms are the rock – that healthy moms mean healthy families, healthy communities, healthy nations.  

Thankfully, there is good news to share.  Since 2008, in only five years, the number of women dying in pregnancy or childbirth has dropped by 20% globally.  That’s HUGE.

As we all know, though, there is much still to be done.  Every day around the world, 800 women die in pregnancy or childbirth, and 90% of these deaths are preventable. And sadly, in the U.S., twice as many women are dying in pregnancy and childbirth than they did in 1990, and more than 50,000 women experience ‘near misses’ that can result in injuries that last a lifetime.

The Motherhood is proud to work with Merck for Mothers on their $500 million initiative to address one of the world’s oldest and most preventable health tragedies – women dying in pregnancy or childbirth.  At the Women in the World Summit, Merck for Mothers sponsored and participated in a moving panel discussion on maternal health.

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Christy Turlington Burns, supermodel and founder of Every Mother Counts, said, “I gave birth for the first time nine years ago.  After delivering my daughter, I started to hemorrhage.  The team worked seamlessly to make it stop, and I was okay.  But ½ million women were dying every year because of this.

“15% of all pregnancies will have life threatening complications and we can’t always predict who will experience one,” said Turlington Burns.  “We need to make sure women have access to care.”

Julie L. Gerberding, president of Merck Vaccines, said, “For Merck, what do we do best?  We make drugs and vaccines.  We asked ourselves, ‘Could we make products that would be useful in the field and don’t require refrigeration?’

“How do we make sure women know what is needed to save their lives?’ said Gerberding. “It’s tragic not to know what to do – and even more tragic not to do what you know.”

To raise awareness about the challenge, Merck for Mothers is asking people to share their birth stories and, every story shared triggers a donation by Merck for Mothers to Join my Village to support of women and girls.


At the Women in the World Summit, Merck for Mothers had a gorgeous lounge set up in the lobby of Jazz at Lincoln Center where hundreds of people shared their birth stories.


Please take a moment to support the Merck for Mothers campaign.  Share your story to help honor the women who unfortunately are not here to share theirs

We’re not overstating things when we say that we believe the future of the globe hangs in the balance here.  When moms are strong, healthy and given opportunities to thrive, they raise their kids to be productive members of society, and the world becomes a safer place, with stronger economies, more opportunities, and less terrorism and other global threats.

Thank you, Merck for Mothers, for the opportunity to work with you on this incredibly important and groundbreaking effort!