This blog is all about the birth story, mine in particular, but also recognizing that my birth story might not be the same as others. Recently I discovered an organization, Plan International Canada, who works in close partnership with communities, health facilities and governments to increase both access to and quality of services for women, adolescents and children in places like Bangladesh, Ghana, Haiti, and many more. Their campaign, called Change the Birth Story , is educating Canadians on the barriers to quality healthcare that many women and adolescent girls face, and how we can help remove them.
After having Leo and currently pregnant with baby number two, I’ve definitely had the opportunity to experience what it’s like to go through not one, but two, very different pregnancies. Even though both of my pregnancies have been pretty different as a whole, there is one thing that has stayed the same and that’s the support I have received along the way. Overall, I’d say that my pregnancies and my experience so far being Mom have been nothing short of amazing.
I’m sure many of you mamas out there would agree that we are pretty darn lucky to have the health care system that we do in Canada. We don’t pay a dime in Canada to have a baby, not to mention, there is amazing prenatal care and support at our fingertips. We have access to quality care and pain management … like the epidural, for example.
Thinking back on this, I’m so happy I opted to get an epidural when I was in the hospital with Leo … I typically like to get things done as natural as I can and I honestly didn’t think I was going to need it. However, when they gave me the epidural, they also monitored Leo’s heart and that’s when they found out his heart rate was slowing and quickly discovered that the cord was wrapped around his neck. I often times find myself thinking back on this moment and feeling insanely lucky to have this equipment on hand during scary moments like these and also being surrounded by all of the skilled, knowledgeable Doctors and nurses. That night was scary, but because of the support, it ended in being the most exhilarating lovely, wonderful, night of my life.
In addition to the incredible healthcare workers, we also have access to so many books and magazines that help answer those burning questions and provide valuable information.
Then there’s the digital world we live in … I’m honestly so grateful for my followers as I really tend to lean on all of YOU when I’m going through something, I have the ability to post a story on Instagram and ask whether or not something it normal or reach out for advice and the response I get back from all of the mamas out there always amazes me.
I’m also lucky to be surrounded by really incredible people who help with Leo … my family, Justin’s family, our Nanny, Team Jilly, everyone on set … the list goes on!!
But sadly, experiences like mine put me in the minority. I love sharing and speaking about these services, but I can’t help but feel guilty … not all women are privileged to have the same experience. When it comes down to it, I am very grateful to have everything I mentioned above at my fingertips and I strongly believe that every other woman and girl has the RIGHT to access quality health services as well, which is why I’m partnering up with Plan International Canada.
Complications from pregnancy and childbirth are the leading cause of death for adolescent girls aged 15 to 19 around the world. Under-resourced health facilities, lack of trained health staff, and poor awareness and understanding of sexual and reproductive health issues are all factors that contribute to this shocking statistic. But gender inequality is also a core cause, which results in the and an absence of decision-making power for girls and women. Because of this, women and adolescent girls often face barriers to access life-saving care and information about maternal, newborn and child health. Not only does Plan International help train nurses, midwives, and other health workers in quality prenatal care, delivery, postnatal care and family planning, but they also work with women, men, and adolescent girls and
boys to promote the value of girls and women in their societies and to empower women and girls to lead the work towards gender equality that benefits everyone.
It hurts my heart to know that many women and girls don’t have the necessary information and services available to them and that is something we need to work hard to change. This is such a huge and powerful movement to get behind and help show our support so everyone, one day, will have the resources and tools they need to have a healthy happy family because these are the little guys and girls that are going to be running the world one day which is why it’s SO important to provide them with the systems and support they need in order to thrive. We need to work together to help change the birth story.