Living and Dying at Birth

This article hits so much closer to home now than when I first read it a year ago.  As I scroll through my  Facebook newsfeed and celebrate all the beautiful baby bumps and newborn photos, I'm acutely aware of the millions for whom pregnancy and childbirth are nothing of gender reveal parties or newborn magazine shoots. Birth, in much of the world, is a matter of life and death.

"The suddenness of this little girl’s death, so soon after her welcome to the world, made it seem particularly cruel. To the nurses, however, it was hardly unusual. Later I was told that Tanzanian mothers often do not name their babies until long after birth, trying to avoid emotional attachment in a place where neonatal, infant and child mortality rates are so high.

I still don’t know what to make of the experience, except to pray for a woman and an innocent little soul and to realize that “neonatal mortality” is not something abstract. It happens in some room, on a table, under a heat lamp, where life’s best gift turns gray and cold."


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