top of page

Say Her Name, Share Her Story: Shamony Gibson

Maternal mortality is a tragic issue that we cannot ignore. When Mother Baby and Beyond was founded, it came from a deep sense of urgency and a desire to "Do something". I kept hearing and seeing story after story of women who were dying during childbirth or shortly after due to preventable complications. One of the first stories I heard that stopped me in my tracks was of Shamony Gibson.

Shamony's Story:

Shamony Gibson was a young and vibrant 30-year-old resident of Brooklyn, NY full of love, life, and dreams who was eagerly anticipating the birth of her second child with her partner. That life was tragically cut short in October 2019, just two weeks after giving birth to her son, Khari.

In the months leading up to her due date, Shamony excitedly prepared for the birth of her second child. “Every day is a new process, you wake up like, ‘Oh my god, I’m that much closer to being a mom again,” she states in Aftershock, a documentary about the black maternal health crisis in the US. Shamony gave birth to her son Khari in September 2019 via C-section. For several days afterward, she complained of shortness of breath. When she and her partner Omari Maynard, repeatedly called for doctors to report this concern, they were told it was fine and just relax.

“There just wasn’t much of a sense of urgency on their part at all,” Maynard states in Aftershock, which is out on Hulu. Two weeks after giving birth, Shamony collapsed at home following sharp chest pains. When the emergency responders arrived they repeatedly asked the family “Was she on drugs?”, even after her mother, Shawnee Benton-Gibson, explained repeatedly that Shamony was not on drugs and explained her symptoms and recent delivery via c-section. At the hospital, 12 hours later, Shamony Gibson died from a pulmonary embolism – a blood clot that traveled to her lungs. This is a well-known and relatively common complication of a major surgery such as a C-section and could have been prevented if anyone had listened and taken action for her symptoms before it was too late.

The Maternal Mortality Crisis:

As we read Shamony's story, it becomes evident that the maternal mortality crisis is not an abstract issue. It's a crisis that touches lives, shatters families, and leaves communities in pain. It's a crisis that disproportionately affects Black women, highlighting the alarming disparities in maternal healthcare.

The statistics are alarming, and they demand our immediate attention. The fact that maternal mortality rates are increasing at an exponential rate is a wake-up call. It's a call to action, a call to do everything in our power to reverse this devastating trend.


  • In the United States, the maternal mortality rate is unacceptably high, and it's rising. A report from the CDC counted 1,205 U.S. women who died of maternal causes in 2021, compared with 861 in 2020 and 754 in 2019.

  • Black women are three to four times more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications than white women.

  • These disparities persist regardless of income or education.

Mother Baby and Beyond: Taking Action in the Community:

In the face of this crisis, organizations like Mother Baby and Beyond are working tirelessly to make a difference. We understand that maternal healthcare extends far beyond the delivery room. It encompasses the entire journey of motherhood, from pre-conception to postpartum care and beyond.

Mother Baby and Beyond is committed to providing much-needed postpartum healthcare and support for expectant and new mothers. We help to bridge the gap between women and the resources they need to thrive during pregnancy, before, during, and after. This organization is a beacon of hope in communities that have been disproportionately affected by the maternal mortality crisis.

A Call to Action:

As we conclude Shamony Gibson's heartbreaking story and reflect on the alarming state of maternal mortality in our country, there's a clear call to action. Enough is Enough. We cannot stand idly by as more lives are lost. We must join hands, raise our voices, and work towards a brighter and safer future for all mothers.

How can you help?

You can support the vital work of Mother Baby and Beyond by participating in or donating to our upcoming ‘Say Her Name’ 5K and Health Fair for Maternal Mortality Awareness." This family-friendly event is a chance to get FIT, have FUN, and take ACTION to save moms and babies. Your participation and contribution will make a real difference in the lives of mothers and families in our community. Register today and save 15% using the code WALK4MOMS


Shamony Gibson's story remind us that EVERY mother's life is precious, and we cannot afford to let the maternal mortality crisis continue unchecked. Together, we can make a change. Let us remember Shamony's name, share her story, and take action to ensure that no more lives are needlessly lost. Join us in our mission to provide care in the community and save the lives of mothers. Register to walk for moms today!


bottom of page