BENTONVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — In partnership with Every Mother Counts, the organization founded by Christy Turlington Burns to address the maternal health crisis in the U.S. and globally, Bentonville Film Festival is honored to gather some of the most influential minds across health, business, media, and philanthropy to discuss the current state of maternal health and promising solutions to prevent needless deaths from complications of pregnancy and childbirth.

Giving Birth in America: Arkansas spotlights Arkansas, the state with the highest maternal mortality rate in the United States. It follows three mothers as they grapple with mental health concerns, lack of paid leave, and other challenges in the days, weeks, and months following birth, vividly painting a picture of the gaps in the current landscape of postpartum care. The film highlights the essential role of community-based support, especially within historically marginalized communities. 

Giving Birth in America: Arkansas – Film Screening and Panel 

The current system of maternity care in the United States is failing many women and their families. Every Mother Counts created the documentary film series,Giving Birth in America, to educate and raise awareness about the maternal health crisis in the U.S. The series includes films featuring stories from seven states. Each film focuses on the stories of mothers, birthing people, and their families and health care providers, leading up to and following childbirth, and spotlights challenges resulting from discrimination, poverty, chronic illness, overuse of medical interventions, and other issues affecting maternal health outcomes in the U.S.

Panelists include Nicole Mackinlay Hahn, Director; Dr. Shamila Makhija, CEO & Founding Dean of Alice Walton Whole Health Institute; Dr. Zenobia Harris, Executive Director, Arkansas Birthing Project.