"Giving Birth in America: Louisiana" follows two pregnant women in the aftermath of the 2016 Baton Rouge floods. In addition to being displaced from the storms, Brianna and Teneshia share their personal challenges and decisions surrounding their pregnancies and birth following the floods. Dr. St. Amant, a local Maternal & Fetal Medicine Specialist, and Dr. Rebekah Gee, Secretary of the Louisiana Dept. of Health, provide insight over the many risks women face today in the United States when it comes to receiving adequate health care, and also highlight the importance of compassionate care at a time when more women are at risk of facing complications in pregnancy and childbirth, particularly women of color.
The United States is one of just 13 countries where maternal mortality is on the rise – the only industrialized country in this group. The current system of maternity care in the country is failing many women and their families. Every Mother Counts created a documentary film series, Giving Birth in America, in 2015 to educate the public and raise awareness of the need to improve maternal health care. The series examines the issues that have contributed to the maternal health crisis in the United States, a country where the number of women dying from complications in pregnancy and childbirth has nearly doubled in the last 25 years, and continues to increase. The first three films in the series Montana, New York, Florida debuted on CNN in 2015, Louisiana in 2017 and California in 2018 – each focusing on women and their healthcare providers in the days leading up to and following childbirth. Together, they navigate challenges that women face as a result of discrimination, poverty, chronic illness, overuse of medical interventions and other issues that affect maternal health outcomes in the US.