Shall we ignore the fact that this poor blog has been sadly neglected and just dive right in?
Okay. Apologies up front. I’ve been busy! In addition to my current full time gig working for the Yale School of Public Health (on an amazing prenatal education project that I will talk about as soon as I am able to!), I’ve been working my butt off promoting The Good Mother Myth! I’ve been traveling all over for speaking gigs, and meeting lots of amazing folks who want to share their stories and talk about ways to tear down notions of what it means to be a “good” parent in today’s society. It’s invigorating and makes me realize just how hungry we are for honest, diverse stories from folks who don’t normally get a platform.
Amidst all of the book chaos, I finally had a chance to sit down and chat with Christy Turlington Burns, who wrote the foreword for the book.
It was truly a pleasure to connect with somebody who is genuinely invested in all things maternal health. Christy’s organization, Every Mother Counts(EMC), has been at the forefront of changing the way we look and talk at global maternal health, especially when it comes to things like safety and access. EMC not only does all they can to advocate and ensure that women from all over have access to quality maternal health, but they also encourage others to get involved as well. The organization is repeatedly asked how individuals can be of help beyond donating money. They currently have a great project set up where, from the comfort of your home, you can help support mothers in developing countries in Africa.
In many developing countries such as, Uganda and Zambia, even though maternity care services in public hospitals and clinics are free, women are expected to pay for many of the supplies needed for a clean, safe delivery and post-delivery – things like soap, cotton, and maxi-pads. They may not have a clean blanket or much of anything for their new baby. These are things we take for granted in the US, or don’t have to think about because of baby showers or hand-me-downs, but in many parts of Africa, the additional cost for even these most basic supplies prevent many women from seeking care for their delivery. For lack of a blanket and a roll of gauze, many women deliver unattended at home. They simply can’t afford these items and feel ashamed because of it so they stay hidden at home, which can be harmful for mother and child.
What You Can Do
One simple way of helping out is by creating kits full of necessary supplies. You can make one or one-hundred! Get your family involved, your fellow mama friends, your book club, your co-workers, etc… Host friends at your house and have a kit-making party. This is one easy, relatively inexpensive way to have a real impact.
Here’s what each Every Mother Kit needs:
- Items should be put into 1 (preferably) or 2 gallon –sized sealable plastic bags.
- Baby blanket (new or gently used)
- 1-2 cotton baby sheets (new or gently used)
- Baby hat
- Cloth diapers (2) &, if diapers require it, 4 large safety pins
- Gentle bar soap
- 2 gauze rolls (90cmX5cm)
- 1 box feminine pads (ultra)
Once you’ve created the kits, box them up and mail them to EMC’s NYC office.
Every Mother Counts
180 Varick Street Suite 1116
New York, NY 10014
From there, they will be delivered to mothers in need in Uganda and Zambia. So often we want to help but aren’t sure how. This is an easy and tangible way to do so!