Tuesday, May 1, 2012

What's a Clean Birth Kit?

We're in the process of reclaiming Mother's Day through being completely awesome to each other. It's called The Mother Pucker Project. So when we got an email from a blogger named Adriel who asked us if we'd participate in something called "Bloggers for Birth Kits", we were like "YES. ON IT". Because it is an amazing project. We cribbed most of the following from her website and she was totally cool with that because she's fantastic. We also took info from World Birth Aid, and we're hoping they don't mind too much.

bloggers for birth kits mama and baby in pngHere's the deal: we talk about first world problems like they're a joke. Because they are. But they're also a reminder of how freaking lucky we are.

Every minute a women dies of complications related to pregnancy and childbirth. Ninety-nine percent of these deaths occur in developing nations. For every woman who dies in childbirth, another 30 women incur injuries and infections, which are often preventable. (Source: World Health Organization.)

In rural Papua New Guinea, 1 in 7 women die in childbirth. In sub-Saharan Africa, 1 in 13 women die of causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. The risk of dying as a result of pregnancy if you live in the industrialized world stands at 1 in 4,100. (Source: Maternal mortality in 2005. Estimated developed by WHO, UNICEF,UNFPA and The World Bank. World Health Organization, 2007)

Infection following delivery remains a leading cause of death among both mothers and newborns. This risk can be mitigated. Both maternal and neonatal infection rates have been proven to decrease if women are given access to the most basic elements of medical sanitation while birthing: soap, a length of clean string to tie the umbilical cord, a clean razor blade to cut the umbilical cord and a clean, plastic sheet on which to deliver.

So that's what is in a clean birth kit.

clean birth kit contents
Adriel made this awesome graphic. Go ahead and pin this, Pinterest people.

The specifics:

1. Soap (for the birth attendant to wash her hands). Use a hotel-size soap or cut a regular bar of soap into 1/8-sized pieces. (Microwave the bar of soap for 30 seconds to soften it for cutting).
2. One pair of plastic gloves (for the birth attendant to wear).
3. Five squares of gauze (to wipe the mum’s perineum and baby’s eyes). Gauze pieces should be about 10×10 centimeters or 3×3 inches.
4. One blade (to cut the cord). You can buy individually wrapped sterile blades at the pharmacist or buy utility blades (much cheaper) at the hardware store. We teach the women to boil the blades for sterilization, so utility blades work just fine.
5. Three pieces of strong string (2 for tying the cord, 1 for “just in case”). String should be about 30 centimeters or 10 inches long.
6. One plastic sheet (for a clean birthing surface). Sheet should be approximately 1×1 meter or 1×1 yard and can be purchased at your hardware or paint store.
7. One sandwich-size ziplock bag (to pack the contents).

If you want to participate in these amazing efforts, you can do so in a couple of ways.

You can make birth kits and ship them to Adriel, who will distribute them in rural Papua New Guinea. You can also donate to the organization she volunteers for. A $10 donation will make 5 clean birth kits. That could mean 5 healthy mommies and 5 healthy babies. Read more about her amazing story here. She rocks our socks.

If you would prefer to help moms in Africa, you can donate to World Birth Aid. Learn more about their incredible work by clicking here.

And please, if you're awesome enough to do this for these fellow mamas on the other side of the world, PRETTY PLEASE send us an email at MotherPuckerProject@yahoo.com and let us know.

Pucker Up,
Lydia, Kate & Louise

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2012

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