Below you will find a number of projects and resources that the Tatia Oden French Memorial Foundation supports or has played a role in.
The House of Lite: A New Kind of Transition Home
The House of Lite, is a potential future project of The Tatia Oden French Memorial Foundation. Our aim is to create a transition home in the San Francisco Bay Area / East Bay for moms and newborns. The House of Lite (HoL) will offer all the necessary support services, counseling and resources for the single moms on welfare who reside in it and who want to break the cycle of poverty they currently come from and become independent, productive members of the community.
If we are to create the HoL, what will make it different is that it will be located in a residential area that is near transportation, food stores with fresh food and other establishments that have a low crime rate and neighborhood schools. Research has shown that where you live significantly impacts the quality of life you have.
If you would like to support our efforts to build the House of Lite please send your donations via the Get Involved page and make a note that your donation is dedicated to the development of the House of Lite.
The Safe Motherhood Quilt Project
The Safe Motherhood Quilt Project is a quilt started by Ina May Gaskin several years ago, to honor all the mothers who have died in childbirth in the US, or who have died do to pregnancy or childbirth related reasons. Ina May and the Tatia Oden French Memorial Foundation continue to collect the names and causes of the women in the US who have died in childbirth or for childbirth and, or pregnancy related reasons.
Please contact either Ina May at [email protected], or the Tatia Oden French Memorial Foundation at [email protected] if you have any information on any maternal death. Accurate statistics on maternal deaths in the US are NOT kept in all states, so even though the World Health Organization in 2008 put the US at 41st in the world for maternal deaths. the real number is much higher. Help us make this known so we can reduce the numbers of women dying in childbirth.
Amnesty International has not only released its report on maternal mortality in the US (March 2010), but is actively pursuing legislators to enact legislation which will improve maternity care in the US and significantly reduce the very high maternal mortality rate in the US. The most recent piece of legislation is the Maternal Health Accountability Act of 2011, where maternal health is finally treated as a HUMAN RIGHTS issue.
The health of a country has long been gauged by its maternal mortality rate. Presently the US ranks 41st in the world, according the World Health Organization (WHO). This is unacceptable. Please read about and support the Maternal Health Accountability Act of 2011 by urging your representative to co-sponsor this bill. Our lives depend on it.
“Informed Consent” and “Medical Interventions Used in Labor and Delivery” Pamphlets
The Alameda County Public Health Commission’s Maternal Child Health Committee produced an Informed Consent pamphlet along with a Medical Interventions Used in Labor and Delivery Pamphlet.
The Informed Consent Pamphlet provides general information on decreasing the intensity of labor contractions and some questions to ask your health care provider. The Medical Interventions Pamphlet describes seven medical interventions commonly used during labor and delivery along with their potential adverse effects on the mother or baby, or both.
Both pieces are meant to stimulate discussion between the mom and her health care provider and are also available in Spanish from the Alameda County Public Health Department. Below are links to each of the pamphlets. You can also request printed copies by contacting Alameda Public Health Dept. at 510-267-8000.
For too long America has failed to acknowledge the outrageous and seemingly intractable rates of poor maternal health and deaths of mothers in childbirth. The United States has the highest maternal mortality rate of any industrialized country in the world. More than two women die every day in the US from pregnancy-related causes. And while the vast majority of countries have reduced their maternal mortality ratios, for the past 25 years the numbers of women lost during pregnancy, birth or postpartum have increased dramatically in the US.
African-American women in the US are at especially high risk; they are nearly 4 times more likely to die of pregnancy-related complications compared to European American.
Women of color are less likely to go into pregnancy in good health because of a lack of access to primary health care services. They are also less likely to have access to adequate maternal health care services. Black women are by far the largest demographic to suffer these outcomes, it has been this way for decades and yet they are seldom able to make their voices heard.
Its time for change.
Through the documentary “the AMERICAN dream” the women tell their own stories: they know what is wrong, they share their hopes, they share their fears, and they share about their American dream, related to maternal health in the US.
Perhaps it is time to listen.