UNHCR Safe Mother & Daughter Appeal

May 10, 2012 by flyingdrunkenmonkey


I had a fairly easy pregnancy with Lily so it came as a bit of a shock when I had a hard labour. It wasn’t very traumatic but it was 25 hours from the first contraction to that moment of joy and relief, and included over 2 hours of just pushing. Full on, tiring, draining, exhausting.

I wanted to try having a completely “natural” birth but ended up having morphine and the gas. After the 2 hours of pushing if Lily hadn’t been born I would have had to have had a vacuum extraction. Thankfully, it didn’t get that far.

But no matter how hard my labour was I was in a safe and hygienic environment, with some of the best medical care and the best support in my husband and my Mum. I can not even begin to think what it would have been like to have not had any of that.

Do you know women still die in childbirth? It’s hard to believe when we know how far the medical industry has come. Yet a woman in Somalia today is 150 times more likely to die in childbirth than a woman in Australia. In fact, over the course of her childbearing years, a Somali mother has a staggering one in 14 chance of dying of complications during pregnancy and childbirth. One in 14! Imagine 1 in every single Mothers Group dying of complications during pregnancy and childbirth.

Globally, an estimated 358,000 women die during pregnancy and childbirth from preventable causes every year

We have so many options for who we want to attend our child’s birth – spouses, family, doulas, midwifes, obstericians, doctors. Yet, only 9% of all births in Somalia are attended by skilled health personnel. 9%! That is a shockingly low number.

And we also live in a reasonably safe country. These women are forced to flee ongoing conflict and devastation in their homeland, in many cases losing their homes, their husbands and their children.

This Mother’s Day, Australia for UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency’s charity in Australia, is launching a Safe Mother & Baby Appeal with special lifesaving gift packages that can be bought and sent to women in refugee camps around the world, on behalf of Australian mothers, daughters and sons.

The items that can save lives are simply staggering – the Clean Delivery Kit includes a small sealed bag containing a plastic sheet for the mother to lie on during labour, a clean blade, string to tie the cord, a swaddling cloth, soap and clear pictorial instructions. Yup, that’s it! Simple, everyday items that we take completely for granted could save a woman’s life in Somalia. A kit that costs only $2.70, can be the difference between life and death for refugee mothers and babies!

To purchase a Mother’s Day gift package visit Worlds Biggest Package or phone Australia for UNHCR on 1300 361 288. A printable gift card is provided for each donation, which is tax deductible.

Gift packages include:

♥ Clean Delivery Kits – $26
– buy 10 kits containing an instruction sheet, cotton baby wrap, soap, plastic sheeting, a clean blade and string for the umbilical cord

♥ Midwife Pack – $53
– provide drugs, sterile dressings and other supplies for midwives

♥ New Mother Packs – $100
– provide nutritional supplements, baby blankets, baby clothes, and soap for 20 pregnant women

♥ Emergency Health Kit – $1044
– purchase an Emergency Health Kit to meet the complete medical needs of up to 5000 refugees for one month.

This Mothers Day why don’t you give generously to the UNHCR Safe Mother & Daughter Appeal help provide care for other mothers and babies?

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