What Is UbuMama?


...a Zulu word for motherhood and an arts-based project dedicated to bringing mothers' stories of giving birth in the developing world into public view, to honor the lives of mothers and to increase the commitment to saving the lives of women dying in childbirth.

What it Means to be a Mother...

Every minute of every day, one woman dies needlessly from complications of pregnancy or childbirth. Ten million women are lost in each generation from complications that are treatable and preventable. Millions of their children also die young as a result of losing their mothers.


Women face vastly different odds and circumstances depending on where they live. In countries with the lowest maternal mortality rates, where women are guaranteed quality health care and family planning services, fewer than 1 in 16,400 women will die from complications of pregnancy and childbirth. In countries with the highest maternal mortality rates, mothers' lives are threatened by inaccessible medical care, low social and economic status, poor education, early marriage and lack of access to safe contraception. In Afghanistan and Sierra Leone, 1 in 6 women will die due to pregnancy or childbirth related complications.

A Global Commitment & A Local Call to Action

In the 21st century, Safe Motherhood is no longer only a health concern; it is a moral, social and political objective. The urgency of saving the lives of mothers has resulted in United Nations Milleneum Development Goal #5 which says that the number of mothers dying in childbirth should be reduced by 75% by 2015! But progress is painfully slow.


The UbuMama project is a citizen action campaign dedicated to addressing the challenges of maternal health at both a local and global level. It enables local community-based action essential to understanding the challenges and creating solutions; it helps mobilize the global commitment and sustainable partnerships between rich and poor countries necessary to ensure that every woman has access to a safe pregnancy and delivery. UbuMama educates and empowers women at the local level, enabling women to share and document their stories of giving birth in a way which is beautiful, creative, awareness raising and incoming producing for them. The birthing garments, which are the products of their labor, carry their unique stories to raise awareness, support and political will for global women’s health issues in countries where these issues are largely invisible.


Please join in this labor of love to make motherhood safe for all women. To give life should never lead to preventable death and disability. Honor your mother, honor the promise of life, by teaming up to save mothers' lives!

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