By many measures, the U.S. has become the most dangerous place to give birth in the affluent world. Each year 700 to 900 American women die from pregnancy or childbirth-related causes – up to 60 percent of which are preventable – and some 65,000 women nearly die.

ProPublica and NPR have shined a light on this issue through the joint investigative series Lost Mothers, shifting the national conversation on maternal mortality from one of private tragedy to public health crisis. Now the news organizations are teaming up, in partnership with the Brooklyn Public Library’s BPL Presents, to host a community forum about protecting more women from harm.

Titled “Lost Mothers: Key Ways to Improve Maternal Health,” the event will bring together leading medical experts, survivors and impacted families. Panelists will share insights on topics including:

  • finding the best possible provider
  • strategies for self-advocacy and conveying levels of pain
  • changing the culture of the “perfect birth story”
  • preparing for an emergency
  • paying attention to symptoms even after the delivery

The expert panel will also take questions from audience members seeking answers and support, and refreshments will be provided. This one-of-a-kind event encourages women and families to share their stories and connect with one another, and elevates a much-needed national dialogue.

This event is free. RSVP here.

What: Lost Mothers: Key Ways to Improve Maternal Health

When: Tuesday, October 24, 7:30–9 p.m. (Doors open at 7 p.m.)

Where: Brooklyn Public Library, Central Library, 10 Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn, NY 11238 (Stevan Dweck Auditorium)

Who:

  • Mary D’Alton, MD, chair of Columbia University Medical Center’s department of obstetrics & gynecology
  • Chanel Porchia-Albert, founder and executive director of Ancient Song Doula Services
  • Larry Bloomstein, widower of Lauren Bloomstein, featured in the first article of the series
  • Nina Martin, reporter for ProPublica
  • Renee Montagne, special correspondent for NPR
  • Other invited guests

This event will be livestreamed on both the ProPublica and BPL Presents Facebook pages at 7:30 p.m. EST. For more information, contact Cynthia Gordy at cynthia.gordy@propublica.org.