I am on a mom on a mission to make birth safer in Laos. This month my organization, CleanBirth.org, has the goal of raising enough funds to save 1,000 mothers and 1,000 babies.
I first witnessed the inadequate pre- and post-natal care available to poor women while living on the Thai-Burma border. Later as a doula–a labor assistant–in Uganda, I discovered Clean Birth Kits (CBKs), basic birthing supplies that prevent birth-related infection in mothers and babies.
When I researched Clean Birth Kits I learned that they improve birth outcomes. I also found that in Laos, a country I had visited many times while living in Thailand, maternal and infant mortality rates were worse than those in Afghanistan. Hoping to help, I reached out to a Laos nonprofit and offered to donate kits and provide training.
In November 2012, I traveled to southern Laos and trained nurses in the use and distribution of Clean Birth Kits. The nurses were impressive, asked intelligent questions, and adapted the program to match needs on the ground.
The nurses told me that, due to religious beliefs, women give birth alone in the forest, often with fatal consequences.
The nurses and I agreed that, in addition to supplying Clean Birth Kits, CleanBirth.org will facilitate community education about safe birthing practices, for example hygiene and having a birth helper.
I have promised the nurses 1,000 kits and training funds, equaling $5,000, by March 1st. Will you donate just $5 and give a mother in Laos a Clean Birth Kit and safe birth education? Say yes and join our online fundraising campaign by clicking here.
Every mother deserves the chance to survive birth and to give her baby a healthy start. Donate $5 & Save 2 Lives.
Kristyn Zalota is the founder of CleanBirth.org, a non-profit working to improve maternal and infant health in Laos. She holds a MA from Yale, and is a doula and Lamaze educator. She lives in New Haven, Connecitcut with her husband and two children. Click here to watch Kristyn talking about her project. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. For cleanbirth.org’s social sites visit Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Tumblr.