I haven’t written about my birth story much on this blog; suffice to say it was long. After 12 hours of labor and 3 of pushing, I ended up with a cesarean section due to a narrow pelvic opening; Peanut’s head was unable to engage through my pelvis. My ob/gyn, in practice for over 40 years, cautioned me against ever trying for VBAC; in my situation it just won’t work. Post-surgery I had the luxury of recovering in a state of the art hospital with qualified nursing care.
Women in some parts of the world aren’t as lucky.
The statistics are sobering. Each year, more than 340,000 women around the world die due to childbirth-related complications. Out of every 100,000 live births in Guatemala there are an estimated 290 deaths; in Liberia the death rate is 994. Compared this to only 14 deaths out of 100,000 live births in the developed world. Most of these maternal deaths could be prevented with basic supplies that would ensure hygienic births.
Saving Mothers, a program spearheaded by Dr. Taraneh Shirazian, Director of Global Women’s Health at Mount Sinai, aims to give these underserved women and their health care providers the tools they need to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity. Saving Mothers’ Clean Birth Kits include basic materials chosen to prevent the infections that lead to maternal death as well as detailed pictorial instructions to the kits to make them easier to use and understand.
And you can help.
Saving Mothers has recently launched a text message campaign asking for a $5 donation by texting “MOTHERS” to 50555 to help pay for additional kits.
Dr. Shirazian and her team will bring these birth kits to Guatemala, Liberia, and other countries in need as part of their program to help educate the traditional birth attendants and midwives who currently provide obstetric care.