Tuesday 3 February 2015

Supporting expectant mothers in Laos

I announced back in December that I am now part of the World Moms Blog family and every couple of months I'll be publishing an article on their site. I've had a wonderful welcome to their community and it is fabulous to be chatting to so many like-minded women from all across the globe.

This month the World Moms Blogs (WMB) contributors are pulling together and introducing our readership to CleanBirth.org, a non-profit started by one of our fellow WMB contributors, Kristyn Kalota. I'd not heard of CleanBirth before and I suspect that is because it is US based and I'm here in the UK but having investigated the charity and seen what they are doing I am right behind it and frankly what does it matter where it is based as long as it is doing good work that we are behind.

I love the fact that Kristyn saw a problem and instead of moaning about it or feeling powerless she set about making change and doing something about it. This is really inspirational to me, as I often assume things are too big but Kristyn and CleanBirth are proof that each one of us can make a difference. If you want to read more about Kristyn then hop over to Third Eye Mom where Nicole has published an interview.

So what does CleanBirth do I hear you ask?
Simple - They provide inexpensive but sterile birthing packs to expectant mothers in Laos and also train up nurses to assist with the births over there. Just $5 will provide two kits so that two expectant mothers can rest assured that their risk of infection, disease and death is substantially reduced.

This year approximately 1 million women and infants will die of infection after birth. For every woman who dies 30 more suffer a debilitating illness or permanent disability, those figures are far too high of course. The WHO and the United Nations have been recommending clean birth kits for years and and "a systematic review identified 30 studies showing that clean birth practises can substantially reduce neonatal mortality and morbidity from infection-related causes, including tetanus.”

How can you help?
At the moment CleanBirth are in the midst of a 3 week crowdsourced funding appeal. They hope to raise $10,000 which will provide 1000 clean birth kits and train up 20 nurses (trained up by Yale midwives)

Right now $5,535 has been raised and that is over half way there, if you want to donate, please go to http://startsomegood.com/cleanbirthlaos and do your bit.  Every single penny counts, it does not have to be loads. Remember $5 for us in the UK is only about £3.50.

A great gift...
I'm off to a baby shower next week and you know what gift I am taking with me? A card to say I have donated on their behalf to ensure that someone in Laos has the kind of birth my friend can expect here in the UK.

It is easy to moan about our NHS, things are not at all perfect - people get discharged too soon, observations get forgotten and generally it is because there is not enough funding and staff are too busy but and it is a big BUT our healthcare system is amazing. When I had my son JJ 11 years ago I had to have a crash section as he heart was decelerating and I had pre-eclampsia; without medical intervention and a sterile environment we both might not have survived to tell our tale.

Then again with the twins in 2007, I was so blessed to spend three weeks in hospital prior to their birth because of pre-eclampsia and my scheduled C-section at 37 weeks went without a hitch as the consultants had made sure I would have no issues with the anaesthetic this time.

I'm off now to make my donation to Clean.Birth.org and I hope you will join me.

Have a blessed week, Mich x
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