Back in December, I was saddened to read the story of Michal Lura Friedman, who died just hours after giving birth to healthy boy-girl twins, as a result of complications following her C-section.

As a mom of twins myself, I couldn’t help identifying with her, and as someone who knows what an immense challenge it is to parent newborn (infant, toddler, etc.) twins, my heart went out to her husband, who would be (and still is) doing it on his own while also dealing with the horrible grief of having lost his children’s mother.

When something hits close to home, and when you can identify with the people involved, it’s easy to feel the full weight of the tragedy. It’s harder to conjure up the same kind of sympathy when you hear about death in the abstract. But this Mother’s Day, I’m trying to.

Every day close to a thousand maternal deaths just as devastating as Michal Lura Friedman’s occur. According to the World Health Organzation, 360,000 girls and women die worldwide each year from pregnancy or childbirth-related complications. In most cases, it’s due to lack of adequate medical or emergency care. And although things are worst in the poorest countries, they’re not so great right here at home, either: the US has only the 50th lowest maternal mortality rate in the world (behind all of western and some of eastern Europe).

Read the rest of this post over at Baby Squared