AUSTIN (KXAN) — Pregnancy-related deaths have more than doubled over the past 30 years, according to the March of Dimes. The nonprofit supports programs and research to help keep moms and babies alive.
“When we look at the causes for maternal mortality specifically here in Central Texas we know it’s cardiovascular disease and mental health and we know those things are largely preventable,” said Monique Stensrud with the Austin chapter of March of Dimes.
The nonprofit said many women are losing their lives in the first year after they give birth and, “a lot of it is due to suicides and a lot of mothers are not getting the help they need.”
To help, the March of Dimes raises money to create programs. One of them is a pilot postpartum support program with Giving Austin Labor Support (GALS).
“GALS is offering family support. It’s offering women that one on one care in their homes to offer support and that’s where you feel most comfortable,” said Stensrud. “So if you are having challenges breastfeeding they are going to help you through that. If you are feeling postpartum depression, they are going to make sure you get the information you need to get the help that’s out there.”
The fundraiser called March for Babies is 10 a.m., Saturday at Lake Mueller Park. So far, the event has already raised more than $80,000 while working toward a goal of $390,000. You can register for the event on the event’s website.