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. “the AMERICAN dream” is part of the documentary project BIRTH IS A DREAM:… Special thanks for sharing their stories: – Alexis A – Alexis J. – April – Jennie – Joanne – Julieta – K. April – Lonicia – Miracle Very special thank to Jennie Joseph. Video, editing & postproduction: PAOLO PATRUNO Music by Chris Zabriskie

With the support of The National Perinatal Task Force.