“Sometimes it’s not about the ‘birth you wanted,’ it’s surviving it.”
While childbirth in America is geared towards a strict birth plan or what to do with your placenta, the infant and maternal mortality rate in Laos is among the highest in the entire world. America has sterile hospitals and highly-trained staff so more and more mothers are informing themselves with resources and information to have a healthy delivery. While I fully support the movement of informed birth choices, I want to spread the word that not every mother is so fortunate to outline their birth environment in third-world conditions such as my family’s homeland of Laos. Here’s how you can help:
DONATE HERE: Clean Birth Kits
Cleanbirth.org provides birthing supplies and training to nurses in remote southern Laos with the goal of preventing birth-related infections and death.
Why are Clean Birth Kits Needed?
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.
Many of these deaths are preventable by providing education about clean birthing practices and Clean Birth Kits, which promote and enable clean birth.
In Laos, where Cleanbirth.org is focused, 80% of births occur at home and only 20% have a skilled attendant present. Maternal and infant mortality rates are among the highest in the world.
Do Clean Birth Kits prevent maternal/infant deaths?
The WHO and United Nations have recommended CBKs for decades. According to Blencowe et al (reference) “A systematic review identified 30 studies showing that clean birth practices can substantially reduce neonatal mortality and morbidity from infection-related causes, including tetanus.”
Clean Birth Kits are designed to provide birth attendants and/or expecting moms with the tools they need to ensure a clean birthing environment.
What is in a Clean Birth Kit?
The Kits ensure the WHO’s “6 Cleans”: clean hands, clean perineum, clean delivery surface, clean cord cutting implement, clean cord tying, and clean cord care.
Each kit is sterile and composed of hospital grade supplies, including:
Padded blood absorbing sheet for comfort and easy clean up
Medicated soap to prepare a safe birth environment
Sterile surgical blade for cutting the umbilical cord
Cord clips for precision and to help prevent infection
DONATE HERE: Clean Birth Kits
About Kristyn Zalota:
Living and volunteering in hospitals on the Thai-Burma border and in Cambodia for a year (2009-2010), I learned of the lack of prenatal and postnatal care available to impoverished women. In 2011, as a doula at a government hospital in Uganda, I saw examples of unclean birthing practices. Subsequently, I researched maternal and infant mortality and learned about Clean Birth Kits, which aim to prevent the birth-related infections that kill nearly 1 million mothers and babies each year. read more
Can you help reach the goal to send 1,000 birth kits to Laos on March 1?
*Nurses in Laos are also requesting gently used flannel receiving blankets. Do you have any to spare? Please consider donating to Kristyn.
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