Ok, this is so full of awesome I can hardly stand it. The incomparable Lydia at Rants from Mommyland clued me into an effort to provide clean birth kits for women in developing nations to mitigate the risk of post-partum infections that kill one woman every minute according to the World Health Organization. Lydia is working with two organizations – Bloggers for Birth Kits and World Birth Aid – to provide clean birth kits to women in developing nations and I love this idea so much that I’m jumping in on the action and I hope you will too. A simple $10 donation can provide 5 birth kits! That’s 5 safe births for the cost of a movie ticket!
Here’s what I wrote about it at Babble today:
It is possible for each and every one of us to help prevent maternal death in the developing world simply by stepping up and providing a clean birth kit for a mother who needs it. And this Mothers Day, Bloggers for Birth Kits are organizing to do just that.
According to Adriel who writes the blog The Mommyhood Memos and the powerhouse behind Bloggers for Birth Kits, 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.
Bloggers for Birth Kits is working to bring clean birth kits to women in need. A clean birth kit includes:
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 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).
You can make your own birth kit or make a cash donations to Bloggers for Birth Kits by going to this site (donation instructions are at the bottom!) . You can also donate to World Birth Aid, an non-profit that provides birth kits for women in Africa by clicking here. In either case, you’ll be contributing to the care of a mother who deserves a safe, clean birth.
Seriously, is this not so incredibly awesome that you can hardly stand it? So simple, so effective, and so, so very important. I’ll be making a donation this week and hope you will too!