SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced the launch of Hear Her, a national campaign to bring attention to pregnancy-related deaths and provide education to pregnant and postpartum women.
The CDC says the campaign seeks to raise awareness of potentially life-threatening warning signs during and after a woman’s pregnancy.
“Hear Her will empower pregnant and postpartum women to speak up when something does not feel right, and encourage the people supporting them to listen carefully and act when they hear their concerns,” the CDC said.
Approximately 700 women die each year in the United States as a result of pregnancy-related complications, according to the CDC.
There are significant racial and ethnic disparities in pregnancy-related complications and deaths. American Indian/Alaska Native and Black women are two to three times more likely to die from a pregnancy-related complication than white women, the CDC says.
“Pregnancy and childbirth should not place a mother’s life in jeopardy, yet in far too many instances, women are dying from complications,” said CDC Director Robert R. Redfield, MD. “This seminal campaign is intended to disrupt the too-familiar pattern of preventable maternal mortality and encourage everyone in a woman’s life to be attentive and supportive of her health during this important time.”
The campaign features personal stories from women of diverse backgrounds who experienced severe pregnancy-related complications.
“Listening and taking seriously the concerns of pregnant and postpartum women is a simple, yet powerful action that can save lives,” said Wanda Barfield, M.D., M.P.H., director of CDC’s Division of Reproductive Health at the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. “Women know their bodies and can often tell when something is not right. We hope Hear Her will help people recognize maternal warning signs and quickly get the care women need.”
The CDC says everyone has a role to play in preventing pregnancy-related deaths. They are listed below.
- If you are pregnant or were pregnant within the last year and feel that something is wrong, talk to your healthcare provider. If you are experiencing an urgent maternal warning sign highlighted on the Hear Her website, get medical care immediately. Continue to share your concerns until you are heard, and your questions are answered.
- Partners, friends, and family can help loved ones get the care they may need and learn the warning signs that indicate immediate medical care is needed.
- Healthcare providers can listen to patients and make sure concerns are adequately addressed.
The new campaign is supported through a partnership with the CDC Foundation and by funding from Merck, known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, through its Merck for Mothers program.
To learn more about the Hear Her campaign visit www.cdc.gov/HearHer.