That’s how long it took me to get to the labour ward where I would shortly give birth to Arlo.

How I was going to get to the hospital was a big weight on my mind. Sam doesn’t drive, and I was put out by the choice of having my mum drive us VS a complete stranger in a taxi seeing me in the throes of labour.

I was being selfish and precious about it. I didn’t stop to think about how good I had it.

I recently attended a Save the Children Conference. They told us about their upcoming campaigns, and introduced us to the stories of some of the people they had recently met in Bangladesh.

Two stories have been on my mind ever since.

Firstly, a woman who was carried in an upturned basket for six hours to get medical care for her newborn baby. This is a routine journey for women in remote areas of Bangladesh. Can you imagine making that journey shortly after giving birth? And there I was complaining about not being able to sit down properly after I had Arlo. This would also be the method of travel for a labouring woman who needed medical attention.

Every hour of every day, 11 newborn babies die in Bangladesh. That’s about one every six minutes.

Then there was an anecdote of a conversation with a group of nine women. All of them had lost at least one child. In talking about their losses, one woman discovered that she had lost the most out of all nine women. She had lost six children. Her reaction was to joke ‘I must be the worst mother then’.

I cannot begin to fathom the sad acceptance she must have reached, about how commonplace infant death is in her community, for her to have made that attempt at humour.

Save the Children is appealing for £1 million to build life-saving clinics in some of the poorest and remotest areas of Bangladesh – Baniachong and Ajmeriganj in the north-east of the country. Clinics that will offer vital antenatal, labour, and postnatal care.

A clean place to give birth and the help of healthcare professionals would make a huge difference to the infant mortality rate, and those all important travelling times for labouring and new mothers will be notably reduced.

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.

Most women will give birth at home

I think it would be my worst nightmare to know that Arlo needed medical care, but it was out of my reach, and there was nothing I could do.

How can we help?

If you would like to 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.

Or

To donate £1 to the Blog It for Babies Just Giving Fund, text the following code:

XVRL71 £1

to this 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.)

Join in with a meme on Monday 23rd of April

Take 20 seconds of your time to join in with a little meme to create awareness for the campaign on Monday 23rd of April , by donating a tweet and/or Facebook status, detailing your birth journey – the time it took to get to your chosen birth place, and the method of travel when the time came to give birth.

20 mins. In a taxi. #mybirthjourney How long was yours? http://www.savethechildren.org.uk/build-it-for-babies #builditforbabies

Copy and paste from my example above, and edit to tell your own story. Please, please make sure to include the link to the campaign (as I’ve done above), so we can raise awareness effectively.

If you are pregnant, write how long it takes to get to the place you plan to give birth. If you have more than one child, feel free to write more than one status – the more the better! Dads can get involved too – you play a huge part in the logistics of travel during the labour and birth process.

Encourage others to donate a status. Tag your blogging and Twitter friends in the meme. Write a message to your parent friends on Facebook letting them know what do to. Scroll down to use the Facebook message I have sent out to my friends. If asked about your status, take the time to explain what it’s all about. It would be fab if we can get this on Facebook and outside of our usual blogging circles.

Fellow bloggers, please blog about this plan if you would like to – the more people talking about it, the better chance of it actually working. I doubt I will be able to get anywhere with this on my own, so I need you. Tell me if you write a post, so I can L-A-B it, Stumble it, Reddit, etc.

To kick things off, I am tagging a load of people ( includingevery parent blogger that went to the Save the Children Creating Connections conference, if you are reading this!) to take part in this meme, if they want to. But you don’t have to wait to be tagged to join in, it’s open to anyone and everyone, just get tweeting.

Draft that tweet, or schedule it for Monday the 23rd, and let me know if you are going to join in!

(Don’t worry if you miss the 23rd,  Build it for Babies is an ongoing campaign so we can keep the meme going for as long as possible.)

————————————————————————-

Facebook message:

Title – Take 20 seconds on Monday 23rd of April to help the Build it for Babies campaign

How long was your journey to the place you gave birth, and how did you travel?

Take 20 seconds to help raise awareness for Save the Children’s Build it For Babies campaign by donating a status on Monday 23rd of April.

My birth journey: 20 mins. In a taxi. How long was yours? http://www.savethechildren.org.uk/build-it-for-babies

Copy and paste from the example above, and edit to tell your own story. Please, please make sure to include the link to the campaign so we can raise awareness effectively.

In remote areas of Bangladesh, labouring women and women with newborn babies in need of medical attention are carried for six hours to the nearest clinic.

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.

Save the Children is appealing for £1 million to build life-saving clinics in some of the poorest and remotest areas of Bangladesh – Baniachong and Ajmeriganj in the north-east of the country. Clinics that will provide vital antenatal, labour, and postnatal care.

If you are pregnant, write how long it takes to get to the place you plan to give birth. If you have more than one child, feel free to write more than one status – the more the better! Dads can get involved too – you play a huge part in the logistics of travel during the labour and birth process.

Every hour of every day, 11 newborn babies die in Bangladesh. That’s about one every six minutes.

Pass this message on to your parent friends and help spread the word. See you on Monday 23rd of April!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

If you would like to 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

For full info on Save the Children’s campaign, click here: http://www.savethechildren.org.uk/build-it-for-babies

(end of facebook message)

———————————————————————————————–

Key statistics from Save the Children:

The situation in Bangladesh

  • Every hour of every day, 11 newborn babies die in Bangladesh. That’s about one every six minutes
  • 1 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.

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
  • 43,600 people in the area with information on how to stay healthy and where to get help if they do become ill.

How people’s 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

For more info on Save the Children and the situation in Bangladesh, click here.

13 comments

  1. Wonderful post, thank you so much. I’ll get one of my birth stories written up x We’re all sharing as much as possible all the posts that we can, especially on Facebook with friends and family so we ripple the message outwards 😀

  2. This is great what your all doing, I was wondering how I could get involved over here and now I now. Will join in with Mondays meme

  3. Pingback: Love All Blogs » the non-profit making, altruistic blog showcasing site » Twenty minutes. In a taxi – help raise awareness for Save the Children

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