Last Saturday, Save the Children met with bloggers, vloggers and social media enthusiasts to share ideas on how social media could be used to help save children’s lives in Bangladesh by helping to raise funds to build seven new clinics.
With an impressive line-up of speakers and the opportunity to meet other fellow parent bloggers (Mammasaurus, Actually Mummy, Dorky Mum, Mother.Wife.Me, Cheetahs in Shoes & the divine Older Single Mum, to name-drop just a few), I was thrilled when I was lucky enough to get a ticket to the conference.
Over the course of the day though, I was saddened to learn about the perilious conditions for pregnant women in Bangladesh.
Did you know:
Every hour of every day, 11 newborn babies die in Bangladesh. That’s about one every six minutes
in 19 children do not live to see their fifth birthday in Bangladesh because access to basic services such as healthcare is very limited, particularly in rural areas
For every 10 births in Bangladesh, 8 mothers have to give birth in their home without a skilled health worker present, putting the life of their baby at risk
Did you also know:
Women who do not live close to a medical centre, will need to be carried there. Here is one woman during her 6-hour journey to a clinic to get care for her newborn… via an upturned chicken coop.
Or, even that:
Most women will give birth at home
I have never written about my own birth story, as I found it to be quite a traumatic experience, but hearing the stories of the women in Bangladesh has really helped to put my own experience into persepective.
Yes, I was in labour for 36-hours – but I had access to a team of midwives and pain relief.
Yes, I threw up with every contraction – but I was in a clean, private labour room.
Yes, they found meconium in the amniotic fluid – but I was regulary examined by a midwife who found it early.
And, yes I pushed for 2-hours before they realised that his head was stuck and labour was not progressing – but a surgeon was on hand to perform an emergency c-section & whipped him out in less than 15 minutes when his heartrate dropped.
I gave birth to a healthy baby boy weighing 8lb 3oz who was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.
I can’t bear to think how my birth story would have played out, had I given birth in Bangladesh.
The new clinics in Baniachong and Ajmiriganj will reach:
21,500 women of child-bearing age with family planning services
3,000 pregnant women with antenatal care
2,190 newborn babies with postnatal care, breastfeeding support for their mothers and antibiotics when they become ill
2,218 infants aged up to one year, by helping their mothers to breastfeed and wean them safely and reducing the chance of life-threatening diseases such as diarrhoea and the risk of malnutrition
The Save the Children Build it for Babies campaign, will launch on April 23rd.
To support this campaign, the awesome Mammasaurus blogger will be travelling the country from Sunday 29th April to Friday 4th May, bringing together bloggers to help fund-raise in a fun way with a nationwide blogger initiative – Blog it for Babies #BlogitforBabies.
I will be helping to raise awareness for #BlogitforBabies by linking up my full birth story here on 23rd April; by getting involved with a local fundraising initiative with fellow SE London resident, HPMcQ; and by attending the London leg of the Mammasaurus tour on 29th April.
Ways you can help:
- Donate £5 to the Build it for Babies Campaign (the cost of one brick that will make up a clinic’s walls)
Text BRICK to 70008
- Donate £1 to the Blog It for Babies Just Giving Fund.
Text the following code: XVRL71 £1 tothis number: 70070
(Text donations are brought to you by JustGiving’s partnership with Vodafone. Thanks to Vodafone, there is no fee and 100% of text donations goes to your charity. You can find out more about JustTextGiving here.)
- If you are a blogger, write a post telling the story of your birth and link it up
- Donate a tweet or a facebook status, including a link to the campaign: http://www.savethechildren.org.uk/build-it-for-babies using the #builditforbabies hashtag
How your donations will save lives:
- £5 can buy a brick – the most basic requirement for our new centres
- £14 can buy a set of scales for weighing babies
- £29 can buy a baby resuscitation kit to deliver vital oxygen to babies born with breathing difficulties
- £75 can buy a delivery bed so that every mother can be as comfortable as possible during labour
- £150 could pay for a health worker for a month so they can help delivery babies, and give life-saving treatment to sick children
- £2,500 can help build a well to provide clean water for the clinic and keep families safe from deadly diseases
- You can keep up to date with the Build It for Babies Campaign by following Save the Children on Facebook and Twitter.
- From April 23rd you can visit a virtual clinic to see exactly how your money is helping.
- You can visit the Blog It for Babies website, set up by parent blogger – Mammasaurus who is touring the country on a week-long fundraising trip.
- And you can follow the #blogitforbabies and #builditforbabies hashtags on Twitter for the most up to date info on the campaign.