Tag Archives: newborns

No Birth Should be Left Up to Chance

Kenya: Carolyn MilesBy Carolyn Miles, President and CEO, Save the Children
Follow Carolyn Miles at @carolynsave.

Giving birth ranks among the scariest moments for any mother. It certainly was for me. I was living in Hong Kong at the time when my second child was born. And he was born in a hurry. He came so fast that I actually thought I’d give birth in our car on the way to the hospital! Fortunately, that didn’t happen and I safely delivered my son Patrick surrounded by a team of well-trained doctors and nurses, not to mention my loving (and relieved!) husband by my side.

But I’m one of the lucky ones.

As new research released today by Save the Children reveals, 40 million women give birth without any trained help whatsoever. What’s more, two million women give birth entirely alone.

I met one of those women in Nepal about five years ago. I was there visiting our programs in the south of the country and stopped in to see a mom who had given birth a month prior. She sat with us and talked quite matter-of-factly about how when she went into labor with her third child, she didn’t panic. She merely laid down in a clean part of her house, caught the baby when she came out, cut the umbilical cord and wrapped her to keep her warm.

When she had finished telling her story, and I had stopped shaking my head in amazement, I couldn’t help but compare her experience to mine. After all, both of our children came into the world faster than we had anticipated. However, while my husband was there to drive me—fast—to a first-class hospital, this woman had no one. Her husband was away in India on business and her two daughters were in the next village. Even if she could manage to get herself to the nearest clinic, which was 2 kilometers away, she would have had to travel on foot. So she did the next best thing; she left it up to chance.

Fortunately for this mom both she and her newborn survived. But for too many women in the same situation, the outcome is much more tragic.

So many things can go wrong when a mother gives birth without a skilled birth attendant (SBA). Things such as prolonged labor, pre-eclampsia and infection—which are perfectly manageable when an SBA is present—can mean a death sentence in the absence of one.

For this reason, Save the Children is calling on world leaders, philanthropists and the private sector to commit to ensuring that by 2025 every birth is attended by trained and equipped health workers who can deliver essential health interventions for both the mother and the newborn.

Because no birth should be left up to chance.

Read the report at www.savethechildren.org/newborns.

Photo above: A Community Health Doctor delivers vaccines to a mother and her newborn babies in Mongoloia. (United Nations)

Save the Children Releases New Report on Newborn Health

Did you know that in 2012 2.9 million newborns around the world did not live past 28 days and 1 million of those died within the first 24 hours of life? Additionally, 1.2 million babies died of stillbirth in 2012. These numbers are reported in Save the Children’s latest report released today: Ending Newborn Deaths: Ensuring Every Baby Survives. And the vast majority of those newborn deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa. For example, the Democratic Republic of Congo recorded 41,800 newborn deaths on the day they were born. And Nigeria recorded 94,500 newborn deaths within the first 24 hours. These large numbers are, of course, attributable to the population of the countries, but the numbers are still too high, especially given that these numbers are four to five times higher than developed nations.

savetheChildren - chart1

2014, as I have written before, is the year of the newborn! Global NGOs, governments, and the private sector are all uniting to create a robust roadmap to put an end to the millions of newborns that die every year from health complications that are easily preventable and a lack of resources. Save the Children’s Ending Newborn Deaths report is one important piece of this critical roadmap.

globalteamof2007_copyToday 24 members of the Global Team of 200, a highly specialized group of members of Mom Bloggers for Social Good that concentrates on issues involving women and girls, children, world hunger and maternal health, will post for 24 hours about the importance of newborn health and about Ending Newborn Deaths. We are posting for 24 hours in honor of every newborn who will not make it past their first day of life today.

How to Help!

We can all do something to save newborn lives! Follow all of the posts on Tumblr and on Pinterest for the next 24 hours to learn more about this global movement to save more babies and about Save the Children’s report. You can join the conversation at #FirstDay. You can also comment on the Every Newborn Action Plan until Friday, February 28, to share your ideas about saving more newborns. And, finally, you can simply give to Save the Children to purchase newborn health kits for women in need who lack access to quality health workers and care.

FIRSTDAY_INFOGRAPHIC2

Upcoming Events to Add to Your Social Good Calendar

Over the course of the next month or so we will be working with major NGOs to spread the word about new reports and critical days commemorating important causes and issues. Mark your calendars for these causes.

Tuesday, February 25

  • We will be working with Save the Children to spread the word about its brand-new newborn health report during a 24-hour carnival.
  • #TeacherTuesday launches with UNESCO on this day. We are joining nine other global voices to share inspirational teachers around the world for ten weeks. Read more.
  • #TeacherTuesday Twitter chat with the first featured teacher will take place at 12 PM GMT. Join with the #TeacherTuesday hashtag.

Thursday, February 27 from 12:00 – 1:30 PM EST

  • Investing in Women and Girls: Finding solutions in water, sanitation and hygiene, featuring H&M Conscious Foundation and Procter & Gamble. WaterAid will be standing by, too, to answer any questions that people might have about the work that we are gearing up to do together. RSVP by February 25 at https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/487286806

Friday, February 28

  • This day marks the last day to comment on the Every Newborn Action Plan. Add your comments by this Friday.

Friday, March 7 from 2 – 3 PM EST

Saturday, March 22

  • We will be partnering with WaterAid America on a big day of World Water Day online discussions. Stay tuned for more as the day approaches.

[Photos in B&W] Historical Look at Child and Newborn Health in the US

There is a long tradition of newborn and child healthcare in the United States and around the world for that matter. See photos below. From 1900 – 1997 the child mortality rate decreased more than 90% in the United States – a laudable national health achievement.  Now there is an accelerated global move to save more newborn lives around the world given the knowledge and interventions that can keep more newborns alive in countries where the newborn mortality rate is absurdly high.

UNICEF and the World Health Organization has led a new movement to draft the Every Newborn Action Plan that will create a roadmap to lower the newborn mortality rate across the board to effectively reduce the overall child mortality rate. Through February 28 you can add your thoughts and ideas about the plan on the World Health Organization web site.

Without a national plan, strength of will, resources, and national participation the child mortality rate in the United States might not have improved as rapidly as it did. This shows that indeed improvements can be made in child and newborn survival rates when everyone is on the same page. Changes will not happen overnight, to be sure, but they will happen when steps are made in the right direction.

Read and comment on the Every Newborn Action Plan.

Nurse Aiko Hamaguchi, mother Frances Yokoyama, baby Fukomoto, Manzanar Relocation Center, California
Nurse Aiko Hamaguchi, mother Frances Yokoyama, baby Fukomoto, Manzanar Relocation Center, California. Ansel Adams
Baby in the nursey at the Cairns General Hospital at the FSA (Farm Security Administration) farm workers' community. Eleven Mile Corner, Arizona
Baby in the nursey at the Cairns General Hospital at the FSA (Farm Security Administration) farm workers’ community. Eleven Mile Corner, Arizona
Russell Lee
Nurse weighs baby in the nursery of the Cairns General Hospital at the FSA (Farm Security Administration) farm workers' community. Eleven Mile Corner, Arizona. Russel Lee
Nurse weighs baby in the nursery of the Cairns General Hospital at the FSA (Farm Security Administration) farm workers’ community. Eleven Mile Corner, Arizona. Russel Lee
Chicago, Illinois. Provident Hospital. Miss Irene Hill, nurse technician, taking baby to be x-rayed. Jack Delano
Chicago, Illinois. Provident Hospital. Miss Irene Hill, nurse technician, taking baby to be x-rayed. Jack Delano
Photo shows "Junior Sea Breeze" a summer hospital for babies run by the Association for Improving the Condition of the Poor, supported by John D. Rockefeller. The hospital was located at 64th Street and the East River, New York City.
Photo shows “Junior Sea Breeze” a summer hospital for babies run by the Association for Improving the Condition of the Poor, supported by John D. Rockefeller. The hospital was located at 64th Street and the East River, New York City. Bain News Service.
Doctors examining baby whose parents have just brought him into the clinic at the Negro hospital. Chicago, Illinois. Russel Lee
Doctors examining baby whose parents have just brought him into the clinic at the Negro hospital. Chicago, Illinois. Russel Lee
At the well baby clinic at the Cairns General Hospital at the FSA (Farm Security Administration) farm workers' community. The well baby clinic meets once a week and babies are weighed, measured, and others given instructions as to their care, feeding, etc. Three of those babies were born at the Cairns Hospital. Eleven Mile Corner, Arizona
At the well baby clinic at the Cairns General Hospital at the FSA (Farm Security Administration) farm workers’ community. The well baby clinic meets once a week and babies are weighed, measured, and others given instructions as to their care, feeding, etc. Three of those babies were born at the Cairns Hospital. Eleven Mile Corner, Arizona
Babies and child care - doctor examining babies on Recreation Pier, E. 24th St., N.Y.C. - N.Y. Health Board supervising care of babies in hot weather
Babies and child care – doctor examining babies on Recreation Pier, E. 24th St., N.Y.C. – N.Y. Health Board supervising care of babies in hot weather

Credits

Courtesy of the Library of Congress, LC-A35-5-M-4
Courtesy of the Library of Congress, LC-USF34- 071888-D
Courtesy of the Library of Congress, LC-USF34- 071908-D
Courtesy of the Library of Congress, LC-USW3- 000544-D
Courtesy of the Library of Congress, LC-DIG-ggbain-09828
Courtesy of the Library of Congress, LC-USF34-038660-D
Courtesy of the Library of Congress, LC-USF34-071858-D
Courtesy of the Library of Congress, LC-USZ62-72011