Childbirth can be a momentous time for any woman and their family. Worrying about how well you’ll cope in labour, whether or not to use the birthing pool or who you’ll choose as your birthing partners are only a few thoughts that race through your mind in the run up to having a baby.
When I had my first daughter over 8 years ago, I was already a practising midwife, but nothing and no one could have prepared me for becoming a mother. The birth was a little traumatic and culminated in me being transferred from the birthing pool in the stand-alone birthing centre to the main hospital via ambulance for an emergency caesarean section.
After seeing my daughter’s heart rate dipping and dipping on the CTG machine, the medical staff made the decision to rush me to theatre and deliver her rather quickly. There was a moment, very briefly, when I was faced with contemplating her mortality. As I saw the doctors working on her and her being rushed to neonatal care I was filled with a dread like I’d never experienced before. The gut-wrenching feeling of not knowing if my daughter was ok was something that stayed with me long after the memory of the contractions faded. I sometimes think about what it would have been like if we didn’t have access to all the help we needed that day.
In many countries around the world pregnancy and childbirth is scarier than we could ever possibly imagine. From the moment a woman knows she’s pregnant, she knows that both life and death are finely balanced and the odds on her and her baby dying are greater than we could ever comtemplate Often with no or little access to medication, health professionals, or clean and sanitary conditions, childbirth poses the very real danger of death for the mother and child.
From my years working as a midwife and my personal experience of being a mother I know how daunting pregnancy and childbirth is already. However, I don’t know what it’s like to have to seriously consider my own mortality or that of my child’s simply because I’m pregnant in a certain part of the world.
Which is why I’m thrilled to be announcing my partnership with Pampers x UNICEF. One pack of Pampers buys one Maternal & Newborn Tetanus (MNT) - 1 pack = 1 vaccine. Pampers have been helping UNICEF since 2006 and has already helped eliminate MNT from 20 countries, meaning that over half a million newborns have already been saved. In total, the number of newborn deaths from MNT has been reduced by more than 73% since 2006. This means a vaccine has reached a a mother and her baby ever second. Pampers have donated funds for 300 million vaccines and has already helped to eliminate MNT in 20 countries.
In case you didn't know MNT is a fast-acting, painful killer disease, that killed 34,000 in 2015 alone. A significant amount of mothers also die due to MNT every single year. It affects mainly poor areas, where there is inadequate immunisation services, little to no access to healthcare and where unhygienic childbirth practice is commonplace. The majority of deaths from MNT occur in Africa and Southern and East Asia.
Although UNICEF and Pampers have made huge strides they still have a little way to go before achieving their ultimate goal of completely eliminating MNT. Every 15 minutes a baby dies from MNT and there are 18 more countries to go to stop this happening. We can help them achieve their aim by purchasing a pack of pampers with a UNICEF logo on it. When my babies were little Pampers were our preferred nappy of choice, the only ones that actually worked well and didn’t leak, so I like to think that we had our own little hand in helping save lives.
Love Nat x
This post was in collaboration with Pampers, however all words, thoughts and opinions are completely my own.