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

50 comments:

  1. Wow! Amazing again, ladies. Smooches to you.

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  2. Made and shipped my birthing kits! I have had many many babies in a clean hospital so I just had to do this!

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    1. Wow, already??! You are a rockstar! Thank you so much!! :) And happy, happy M day to you!
      -adriel // b4birthkits

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  3. Donating now! I lost my mom earlier this year and wanted to remember her in some way this Mother's Day - this is perfect. Thanks very much!

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  4. I was all set to head out (ha ha, birth pun intended) and buy stuff to make a bunch of kits, until I read that I had to ship them to Australia. Figured that would cost a bundle, unnecessarily, so I just went over and donated instead.

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    1. Thank you SO much Lynne!! That is wonderful. We're so, so grateful. x
      adriel // b4birthkits

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  5. I was so moved by the simplicity of the birth kit--this is all they need for a cleaner birth? And they don't have it? And we get all nervous about strangers breathing on our newborns? I had to jump right in a do something.
    Just sent my donation to both World Birth Aid and Adriel's charity. So very simple to donate...such simple measures can have such a large affect. Thank you ladies for spreading this information and helping me help another Mother.

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    1. I know, right? It's hard to fathom.

      Thanks so much for getting involved. EVERY kit makes a difference! xx

      -adriel // b4birthkits

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  6. How can we not do this? We owe it to these fellow moms to help. Donated.

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  7. Is it sterile or non-sterile gauze? Looking to put together 100 kits here and I have gotten all but the gauze donated!

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    1. Brooke, wow, that is amazing!! THANK YOU! Sterile gauze please! Feel free to email me if you have any more Q's - themommyhoodmemos @ gmail.com
      -adriel // b4birthkits

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  8. Amazing idea! I just organized a "Mother Pucker Party" at my house on May 16th (sorry, couldn't schedule it any earlier) and we will be making as many clean birth kits as we can! I'll be sure to take lots of pics- it's sure to be a good time with all the alcohol I'll have provided for all my awesome friends who are coming! :)

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    1. Awesome - a birth kit making party!! Thank you so much for your help. I hope you ladies have a blast helping out these PNG mamas! x
      -adriel // b4birthkits

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  9. I'm sending money and stuck a link to your post on my Facebook page...hopefully it spreads. Also, just want to say: You guys are pretty awesome.

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  10. how do we donate? i don't see where to do so

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    1. Hi Laci. You can find all the details here: http://themommyhoodmemos.com/2012/04/bloggers-for-birth-kits-helping-moms-in-developing-nations/
      Thanks for wanting to get involved!
      -adriel // b4birthkits

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  11. I just donated money, maybe if I remember to get my act together (ha) I'll managed to wrangle up the supplies and put some together. Or I'll forget until Friday and send more money like the lazy hooker I am.

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    1. Thanks for donating Katy! Every dollar and every kit helps!! x
      -adriel // b4birthkits

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  12. Hey you guys!! Thanks so much for finding Bloggers for Birth Kits and jumping on board. This is awesome!!!

    I love that you took the time to look into this for yourself and not just copy and paste over my entire post. ;) Shows that you really care!!

    Big hugs to you, and lots of high fives!! Together we're making a difference!!

    love adriel x

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  13. Know I do not have the time to make birthkits, but I totally just gave $ to the World Birth Aid group. SUPER idea! xo

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  14. I'm hosting a mom's night in and we're going to make as many kits as possible! It's very easy to forget how fortunate we are in that we can EXPECT a clean birthing environment. Thank you for passing this movement along.

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  15. I just asked my husband to donate $30 to that organization instead of useless $30 flowers for me for Mother's Day. Thank you for letting me know about this organization.

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  16. We are making a TON of Mother Puckin Clean Birth Kits with my church! We are getting everyone together with their donations and will mail them over. Any tips for international shipping? I haven't sent anything outside of the US before! Thanks!!

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    1. That's wonderful Lindsey - thank you!

      Another lady told me that FedEx was the best option. I've not looked into it myself, but she checked around before sending her kits. :)

      Thanks again!!
      adriel x

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  17. Yes, could I please get more info on the shipping? Meaning for the price of making and shipping 50 kits could they have 100 kits if I just donated the money?

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    1. Sarah, you'd have to contact FedEx or UPS or the post office to get shipping rates based on the size of your package. It's more economical to donate, but totally up to you!
      Thanks for getting involved!!
      adriel x

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  18. Just donated and spread the word on Facebook! I'm 35 weeks pregnant and can't believe that while I'm thinking about what to put in my hospital bag, there are mamas just like me wondering if they'll get through birth alive. This is an amazing project and I hope it gets tons of support! :-)

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    1. Thank you Kelly, and congratulations! :)
      Adriel x

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  19. I love this! I will be putting some kits together and hoping to get some nurses from my MIl's hospital where she works on board too!

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  20. Awesomeness! As a mom and a nurse, this cause is dear to my heart. Tonight I made a donation in honor of my sister and best friend, both incredible women in all that they do for their families and friends. Rock on, all you amazing women!

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    1. thanks for getting involved robin! every kit counts!
      adriel x

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  21. Just donated clean birth kits - thank you for posting information for a great cause! Happy Mother's Day!

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  22. $10.00 Donation made! WHo needs flowers/candy and all of that crap when you can save a life!

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  23. I am planning a party to put these kits together and one of my friends checked with the post office to see about shipping razor blades. They told her it is impossible. What have others done? Do the kits with razor blades in them actually make it to their destination? Did you declare there are razor blades or just not say anything?

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    1. After posting this I found out the following: USPS said no and that they do random X-rays and if it is found you could get a fine. However FedEx said no problem you can ship through them. I did not call UPS or any other company. Thanks!

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    2. Thanks for checking into this Christy! I've had kits mailed from America before (using USPS) and there was never any problem. It's not a problem here in Australia either. Sounds like FedEx is the best route though. Just curious, did you also ask UPS?
      Thanks again for getting involved!!
      adriel x

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  24. $100 donation made! Thank you for discussing this important cause and making easy for us to help. You guys rock!

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  25. Donated to world birth aid... such a simple thing yet something we otherwise wouldn't even think about, and here I am stressing about birthing in a hospital in Australia... Thanks for spreading the word. xx

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  26. Just throwing this out there, and I cannot emphasize this enough....the people MAKING the birth kits would need to boil the bags and razors, whatever, to make them STERILE and they would have to wear gloves so that they are STERILE.

    There are organizations that will actually do this for you, so that you know that they are making them properly.

    I know this just sounds like I'm being ridiculous, but it's a real threat, the threat of cross-contamination from something, and then sending it to be used on a newborn amongst open wounds and fragile immune systems!

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  27. Hi , Thanks for your great post : " What's a Clean Birth Kit? ", I got it helpful one. Regards,
    Send DHL online

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  28. I have been in contact Yvonne Røskeland at World Birth Aid and they have donated birth kits to be distributed by Luhwahwa Youth Development Foundation (LUYODEFO) in Uganda. However, the challenge is that World Birth Aid is not able to ship the donation. LUYODEFO is therefore seeking people to fund or help contact to organizations that can fund the shipping costs from USA to Kasese, Uganda. Any one with an idea that can help?

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