I’ll be the first person to admit here that I’m not a huge fan of our country’s maternity system. In fact, I think it sucks. I have family members in different countries who not only enjoy free health care, but are also well taken care for in the postpartum period with extended hospital stays, weekly nurse visits at home and paid maternity leave for six months at a time.
When I was first pregnant with my daughter back in 2007, I stayed in the hospital for just two nights following the birth of my baby, had only eight weeks of maternity leave and it wasn’t paid for either, and had a big whopping bill to pay for my hospital stay, too. Nothing says WELCOME TO MOTHERHOOD like paying your fat insurance deductible the moment your child comes out of the womb, right?
Well now more and more people are taking a stand by making powerful statements about the dangers of maternity care in the United States. Even though we are one of the richest nations in the world, we also have the highest mortality rate among new mothers, too.
And now artist Michelle Hartney wants people to know that not only are the statistics downright frightening, but they are a major concern, too. Her performance piece in Chicago depicts a rack of hand-sewn hospital gowns for every mother who died in childbirth in America back in 2013. Here’s a little more: