Contrary to popular belief (and Macy’s commercials), most moms aren’t waking up on Mother’s Day and expecting…

  • diamonds (hello, have your seen the price of gas??? At $4.15 a gallon, unless that tennis bracelet is getting me to work and back, no thank you)
  • plants (with a husband, two kids, two dogs, and two turtles, I have no need for another living, breathing thing that is going to demand food and water, AND not help me mop or cook),
  • chocolate (and expect me to rock out a bikini in less than two months?? Heck to the NO.)

Now, I’m not speaking for all moms, but I think what most of us want is to feel appreciated. A card (Hallmark or handmade, we’re not picky), some flowers, pancakes and coffee with our family, maybe the promise of 15 uninterrupted minutes to read, nap, pee, etc. – that’s all that it takes to make most of us smile and feel loved.

That being said, the whole idea of Mother’s Day is definitely one of those “First World Problems“- much like your iPhone not uploading your latest tweet about which Jersey Housewife you are siding with (Team Manzo!!) or debating which OPI polish color you should use for your mani/pedi, Tutti Frutti Tonga or Royal Flush Blush…decisions, decisions!

These life or death decisions, are obviously not literally life or death. However, there are moms out there, in our own country, and beyond, that are faced with the very reality of death daily, even as they labor to bring new life into this world.

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. (Big props to Rants from Mommyland genius mommies, Kate and Lydia,  for gathering this information…and thanks for letting me steal it. xoxo)

These figures are staggering and horrifying…But we can change that…YOU can change that…today.

While reading my favorite mommy blog, Rants From Mommyland, I found out that there is an amazing movement, Bloggers for Birth Kits, happening right now. I found out that there are brave mamas in very rural, poor areas of our world, who need our help right now. One amazing Australian mama, Adriel Booker, who blogs from the land of Olivia Newton John and wallabies, is on a mission to provide struggling women in rural areas with clean birth kits. What is a Clean Birth Kit, you may ask? Well…

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).

This simple kit, can be put together for less than the cost of a venti Caramel Macchiato, and will make you feel a lot less jittery, and much more powerful (because let’s face it, we all feel a tad bit inferior in front of those baristas).

We are so lucky to live in our bubble of first world medicine and comfortable birthing conditions. We take classes, read a million books, write a birth plan, have the choice of home-birth vs. hospital-birth, we create  special playlists on our iPods to keep us motivated, soothed and sane during the big event…but at no point have any of us worried about not having a qualified medical professional to help bring our babies into the world, or thought about giving birth on a dirt floor, armed with a contaminated water supply and no antibiotics in case of infection.
If you are feeling as blessed as I am, please join me in this cause. I am on a mission to make at least 100 Clean Birth Kits by June 5. Some ideas to get involved:
  • host a Clean Birth Kit girl’s night! Assign each person a supply (and a delicious dish!) to bring. Make an assembly line, pour the wine, and….GO!
  • Ask your Church, Girl Scout troop, neighborhood, anyone to donate supplies or entire birth kits.
  • Birth Kit date night! Nothing says romance more, than a trip to Home Depot for some plastic gloves and rope (right, Mr. Grey??)
The possibilities are endless. If you would like to participate in this amazing event, please email me (youshouldneversaynever@gmail.com). I will give you a drop off location or a meet up spot to hand off the kits. One, five, twenty- as many as you can make would be greatly appreciated.
 
Thank you so much for listening,sharing and helping! Hoping your Mother’s Day is even better than a hot fudge sundae, smothered in melted cheddar and topped with smoked bacon. Served with a gallon of Pinot, in a dish that I won’t have to wash. Oh yes, a girl can dream.
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