Tag Archives: maternal mortality

Lynsey Addario And Maternal Mortality: The NPR Interview

NPR is an auditory medium. But its website complements its radio features. A few days ago, that site featured some stunning photos.

They were taken by Lynsey Addario. The Staples High School graduate has spent the past decade — in addition to covering life in Afghanistan and the plight of Syrian refugees, for publications like the New York Times, National Geographic and Time magazine — documenting the brutal reality of maternal mortality.

Every 2 minutes around the world, a woman dies in childbirth or from pregnancy-related causes. Since 2009, Addario has photographed overcrowded hospitals, bloody delivery room floors and midwives in training.

An overcrowded maternity ward in India. (Photo/Lynsey Addario, courtesy of NPR)

She’s done it thanks to a MacArthur Fellowship. Known popularly as a “Genius Grant,” the no-strings $625,000 award can be used however the recipient sees fit.

Addario has pursued a subject that is not “sexy.” It’s one many editors, readers — even male photojournalism colleagues — don’t understand.

In the NPR interview, Addario talks about a formative experience: watching a woman in Sierra Leone hemorrhage and die.

She describes the intimacy of her photos; her own experience becoming a mother while documenting maternal mortality, and the reality that childbirth is not a Hallmark card.

It’s a fascinating story. Thanks to NPR, it is seen — as well as heard.

(Click here for the full interview. Hat tip: Dick Lowenstein)

The aftermath of a stillbirth in a Somali hospital. The woman survived, thanks to skilled midwives. (Photo/Lynsey Addario, courtesy of NPR)