#FirstDay – Why The World Needs Midwives
Today sees the launch of the most important campaign that I have ever been involved with, the launch of Save the Children’s #FirstDay campaign to end newborn deaths.
I am a bit overwhelmed by it, truth be told. So overwhelmed that I am going to repeat myself a bit, I’m going to say some of the things I said in my last post all over again – because they need saying – because the more you say them the more they sink in and the more they sink in, the more outrageous they become.
2.9 million babies a year never reach their second month of life.
1 MILLION BABIES A YEAR DON’T LIVE TO SEE THEIR SECOND DAY
Those of us who have held a newborn in our arms know how fragile that little life can be. We’ve seen how vulnerable babies are; how reliant they are on those around them to keep them safe and to help them live.
For a mum or dad, the first day of a child’s life is a time of excitement; a day we will remember forever. A day full of tears and laughter and wonder. A day of hope, the first step on a new life journey. It’s miraculous. But childbirth is often complicated and a newborn child is frighteningly vulnerable. Those crucial first hours are when babies are at their most vulnerable and things can easily go wrong. Maybe their tiny airways get blocked, the delivery is obstructed or they are exposed to infections or hypothermia.
Newborn deaths now account for nearly half of all under-five deaths.
The death of one baby is a tragedy. The death of 2.9 million a year is an outrage. And most of these deaths are preventable, with the help of a trained and equipped midwife along with basic medicines such as antiseptics and antibiotics, vital equipment and a clean environment to work in. These are not difficult things to provide, they are the simple things most of us take for granted but which many families worldwide are not privileged to have.
All it takes to change this is political will from governments around the world to provide the funds to train up and equip midwives. Simple.
Lack of political focus on newborn deaths is blocking us from being the generation to stop all preventable child deaths and I want to change that. I want to use the blogging community and its amazing readers to help bring about that change.
2014 gives us a unique opportunity to make change happen: For the first time ever, countries and institutions around the world will sit down to agree the Every Newborn Action Plan. We need to make sure world leader’s take action on this and know the world is calling for them to do so.
So – What Am I Asking You To Do Today?
Today I am asking the parent blogging community to join me to draw attention to this campaign and show how the simple things many of us take for granted can be the difference between life and death and call for those simple things to be available to all women giving birth around the world.
Write a 100 word blog post about a #FirstDay and the importance of midwives – Tell us, in 100 words, what your midwife did to make sure your baby had a second day, what simple things did s/he do to help your child through those first hours? What are the simple things we take for granted in the hours after birth…eg anti septic cream, clean water, sterilised equipment?
We’re running this as a 100 word challenge blog linky across as many blogs as possible, can you call on your blogging community and ask them to tell us in 100 words: ‘What did your midwife do that made sure your baby had a second day?’ Or, if you’re not a parent: ‘What did a midwife do to make sure you had a second day?’
My midwives cut the cords which linked me and my babies with sterile instruments and made sure those first scars were cleaned with antiseptic so no infection could set in. They kept the room warm and placed my babies on my skin to nuzzle and feed. They looked for signs of newborn stress, popping my first under UV light to counteract jaundice and monitoring the heart murmur in my second. I was lucky to birth with midwife support and the basic essentials to ensure my babies lived beyond their #firstday to grow into young people with the potential to change the world.
Please add yours on the blog hop linky at the bottom of this post.
The world has made amazing progress in saving children’s lives over the past two decades. Thanks to global action on vaccines, family planning and treatment of childhood illness, the number of children who die each year has dropped from 12.6 million in 1990 to 6.6 million in 2012. Save the Children’s social media campaigners have helped us drive so much of this change, let’s help put the pressure on politicians to take action for newborns – your blog post, tweet or facebook update could be the tipping point – it could be the one that pushes the numbers who have shouted to the point where Mr Cameron and Co sit up and respond.
What Else Can You Do?
What we want to achieve:
• Save the lives of 2 million newborn babies a year
• Ensure that every baby is born with the support of a trained and equipped midwife
If you’ve got one minute:
Sign our petition to ask David Cameron to put a global plan into action in 2014 that will ensure every baby is born with the life-saving help of a trained and equipped midwife and use his influence to get world leaders to do the same.
Text a donation: a donation of £3, the price of a cup of coffee, could save 10 newborn lives by buying 10 tubes of antiseptic cream. Text COFFEE to 70090
Share the link to our newborn campaign online and ask people to take action or donate
If you’ve got 10 minutes or more:
– Join us for a #firstday twitter chat on Tuesday 25th Feb from 1-2pm Details Here.
– write about the campaign online and why it’s so important that the world acts this year to save newborn lives
– Join our 100 word challenge blog linky
When your tweet out your posts please mention @savechildrenuk and #firstday so we can spot them and retweet!
If you would like me to send you the links for images to use in blog posts please email me firstname.lastname@example.org
THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART