Earlier this month CNN honored 10 people ranging from directors of non-profits that support military widows, urban youth, and people with disabilities. But, the story that captured my heart was about Robin Lim, or “Mother Robin,” who was the CNN Hero of the Year.
Mother Robin, a Filipino-American, is a mid-wife and founder of free health clinics called Yayasan Bumi Sehat. These clinics offer prenatal care, birthing services, and other medical care for mothers-to-be in Indonesia, which is one of many impoverished countries that has high maternal and infant mortality rates because hospital costs and improper care of new mothers.
I felt incredibly blessed/fortunate/lucky that I had a smooth pregnancy with the twins. Even towards the end, when I had to have a c-section a few days earlier than the one scheduled at 38 weeks because of mild preeclampsia, everything went so smoothly and easily. I didn’t feel anything more than the nervous jitters of a new mom. But maternal and infant care in these countries is often overlooked and marginalized, for various reasons. Honoring Mother Robin not only lifts up her charitable work but also this issue, which affects hundreds of thousands of women and children. Others are taking up her torch recently including Christy Turlington Burns, who founded Every Mother Counts, and World Vision’s The Million Moms Challenge.
Hopefully maternal health education and awareness will become increasingly a part of our social consciousness. Lim said very simply but profoundly:
“Every baby’s first breath on Earth could be one of peace and love. Every mother should be healthy and strong. Every birth could be safe and loving. But our world is not there yet.”
[Photo Courtesy of CNN]