Motherly Collective

Gun Control. Maternal Mental Health. Maternal Mortality Crisis. Paid Leave. Womens’ Reproductive Rights. In today’s world, there are daily (sometimes hourly) reminders of injustices and unfathomable truths that as mothers, we struggle to comprehend. Many of us feel a collective and overwhelming sense of responsibility to make this world a better place for our babies and their futures—to really do something about it. But all too often, many of us are met with the persistent voice in our head that pushes back and asks, “what can I do about it?” and “where do I even start?”

As a mom of two, nonprofit founder, and human rights lawyer who has focused my career on social impact and policy, I know that activism can feel overwhelming. But I assure you that the worst thing you can do is nothing. And when it comes to doing something, there are few things I feel more sure about than this: mothers and birthing people deserve to survive childbirth in 2023 in the US. Full stop. 

And yet, the reality is, this is a country where that simply isn’t guaranteed for anyone. A new report from the CDC paints the bleak picture for maternal health quite clearly: in 2021, the number of US women dying from pregnancy-related issues rose a whopping 40% from the year prior. The data shows that Black women are three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications than white women.

Behind these statistics, there are beautiful, vibrant humans and mothers—just like me and you—lost all too soon, leaving behind their families, their newborns, their older children, their communities. And the most painful part? 84% of these pregnancy-related deaths are preventable.

April Valentine, Kira Johnson, Bridgette Cromer–and so many others–should still be here. 

If everyone who is a mother, has a mother, knows or cares about mothers and birthing people raises their voice and shares their stories, this bill will pass. We can’t let one more year go by—or lose one more life. 

And here’s why I’m writing about this today: as appalling as that 84% preventable stat is, we have a choice to let it fuel us to take action. To get loud and advocate for these mothers who can no longer advocate for themselves. While this disproportionately affects Black and Hispanic women, let me be clear that the maternal mortality crisis impacts ALL women and birthing people and further, every human being in this country should care about it. Because all of us are a mother, have a mother, or know a mother. 

Just last week the Momnibus Act was reintroduced for the third time. It’s a life-changing set of 13 bills designed to reduce preventable maternal deaths in the US, and close the racial inequality gap in maternal health outcomes. But the reintroduction is just the first step. We must ensure it passes. Here’s where you can take action, which is a first step to making meaningful change: 

  1. Visit for a pre-written letter to send to your representatives, demanding they co-sponsor the bill. Emails to lawmakers are the most low lift but impactful way to sway the vote. 
  2. Share this post on your social channels, from Instagram to Linkedin, share it with your communities and encourage those around you to get loud as well. We are stronger together. At the time of writing, this social campaign has reached a potential audience of 100M and counting. This is just the beginning.

If everyone who is a mother, has a mother, knows or cares about mothers and birthing people raises their voice and shares their stories, this bill will pass. We can’t let one more year go by—or lose one more life. 

In collaboration with grassroots organizations, birth workers, mom-led brands, medical professionals, celebrities, parents and caregivers, Bobbie for Change, in partnership with nonprofit partners, 4Kira4Moms, Inc. Ancient Song and the MamaGlow Foundation, is getting as loud as possible to force Congress to act and pass this bill. And we will continue to do so until this bill passes.

This is simply one example of how to get involved in a tangible way, but it’s universally representative of the fact that as mothers, parents, caregivers and allies, we are at our core, change-makers and doers. As parents, we put so much pressure on ourselves to be experts in everything and only jump in when we fully understand the situation, or see a guaranteed path to success. But we don’t need to be so precious about it. Regardless of the cause, I urge you to find something that moves you.

When it comes to taking action, root your intentions in something that will continue to move you day in and day out, a cause that lights a fire within you. Choose one that won’t be extinguished even when the news cycles and social media feeds have moved on. And when you do, keep the following in mind.

4 ways to be an effective activist

1. Step outside your comfort zone

Don’t be afraid to step into spaces where you’re not directly impacted. This is NOT a prerequisite to being an ally. However, being directly impacted may also be the thing that calls you to a movement—it’s all valid. Regardless, get bold, step outside of your comfort zone, hold space for the voices of those that are directly impacted, share the labor and show up in community. 

2. Do your homework

Before you can dive in and take action, make sure you understand the issue at hand, what caused it, and what the solutions look like. You don’t need to be an expert, but find a few articles to read, ask your parents group for a book suggestion, and get informed. This will bring clarity around what you can do to help in the most impactful way.

3. Start locally

Find a local organization that is touching an issue that speaks to you, reach out to program personnel and find out what they’re doing. Look at their 990 filings to see where the money is going; look at their social channels, their website and their calendar. Are they doing the work that inspires me? Can you find a local event to attend?

4. Do it in community

Rally your friends, family and community to create accountability and shared motivation and commitment. This will keep you engaged in the movement and help to move the needle in an even bigger way. 

Don’t wait for next week, next month or next year to take action. I know all too well how limited and precious our time is on any given day as a working parent. We are constantly multitasking and adding to our to-do lists. But listening to the call you feel as a change-maker is a decision you will never regret. 

This story is a part of The Motherly Collective contributor network where we showcase the stories, experiences and advice from brands, writers and experts who want to share their perspective with our community. We believe that there is no single story of motherhood, and that every mother's journey is unique. By amplifying each mother's experience and offering expert-driven content, we can support, inform and inspire each other on this incredible journey. If you're interested in contributing to The Motherly Collective please click here.