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Maternal Health Stories


Michigan’s Hear Her campaign features compelling stories from pregnant and parenting people about their experiences during birth or after pregnancy. They share how pregnancy challenges and complications have affected them.

The campaign also includes stories from healthcare professionals on their experiences caring for Michigan birthing persons. They highlight the importance of providing respectful and quality care to every patient.

These stories can be used as a call to action to implement, support, and uplift strategies that aim to improve maternal health and birth outcomes.

Person's with Lived/Living Experience

Note of caution: These digital stories collected are from personal (first-person "I") voice. While these videos are powerful and important to view, they could be triggering or emotional for viewers.

Erica's Birth Story - Discussion 1: "Because I Want To Live"

Erica is a mother of two who developed preeclampsia during her second pregnancy – a potentially life-threatening, pregnancy-related complication. Erica shares her story of what it was like learning about her diagnosis in the midst of finding housing and feeling unheard, alone and unsupported.

Rodnesia's Birth Story - Discussion 2: "Looking Ahead"

During Rodnesia’s first pregnancy, she felt informed and heard by her entire care team. Rodnesia’s second pregnancy was different. She felt rushed, not listened to and mistreated. Rodnesia’s experience shaped her career path – she decided to become a doula to help others through their birth journey.

Tamara's Birth Story - Discussion 3: "Victoria's Wish"

Tamara shares her experience with grief after the loss of her daughter, Victoria. She conveys how traumatic pregnancy loss can be, no matter how far along a birthing person is in their pregnancy.

Mandi's Birth Story - Discussion 4: "The Edison Show"

Mandi is a mother of triplets. She shares how she’s been navigating health complications experienced by baby C, Edison.

Huda's Birth Story - Discussion 5: "To My Love"

Huda shares her personal story of surviving an Amniotic Fluid Embolism. Her story is dedicated to her partner who advocated for the care she needed and deserved.

Provider Stories

Healthcare professionals play a critical role in eliminating preventable maternal mortality. One part of the solution is to really hear women’s concerns during and after pregnancy and engage in an open conversation to make sure any issues are adequately addressed.

Helen’s Story – Discussion 6: “Know Your Choices”

Helen highlights the importance of educating pregnant persons about their birth options.

Chereka’s Story – Discussion 7: “Doing What I Do”

Chereka recalls her birth journey, highlighting the need for respectful care. Not long after her son was born, Chereka became a Labor and Delivery nurse.

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Additional Story Sources:


Additional Resources:

  • Fetal Infant Mortality Review (FIRM) Strategic Storytelling Toolkit. This e-toolkit provides an overview of strategic storytelling, storytelling in the FIMR process, considerations for storytelling, sources of stories, examples, and resources.
  • MoMMA’s Voices mission is to amplify the voices of people who have experienced pregnancy and childbirth complications or loss - especially those who have been historically marginalized - ensuring they are equipped and activated as partners with providers and researchers to improve maternal health outcomes.