Maternity Worldwide: Providing Safe Childbirth For All
Over the last few years, we have enjoyed running several fundraisers for Maternity Worldwide, a charity close to our hearts, which works to save lives in low-income countries by training local midwives and medical staff. They help to empower women to become decision-makers about their own health and provide maternal healthcare to rural and remote communities. Each time we run a fundraiser, we're overwhelmed with generosity from our wonderful customers!
This International Babywearing Week we will be supporting this wonderful charity again. With that in mind, we wanted to take a look at all the amazing things our customers have contributed to over the years.
Maternity Worldwide's vision is:
"A world in which all women and their babies can access safe and appropriate childbirth regardless of where they live."
Every day 800 women die during childbirth or pregnancy, 99% of these mothers live in low-income countries. Maternity Worldwide works in Malawi and Uganda promoting healthy childbirth through their support of maternal health services & community health promotion, while also developing local Emergency Obstetric Care centres and women's groups.
We talked to Maternity Worldwide about their amazing work and they very kindly sent over some inspirational stories from the people they have worked with in Uganda.
Caroline, gave birth to her sixth baby with support from the Maternity Worldwide team in Uganda.
Caroline had delivered her previous five children without the support of a skilled birth attendant, had not delivered at a health facility and had never attended any kind of ante-natal sessions. Sadly, Caroline experienced some difficulties during her previous deliveries which resulted in severe bleeding, chronic back pain and tears.
When Maternity Worldwide’s Village Health Team volunteers visited Caroline’s village and learned she was pregnant again they advised she attend ante-natal sessions nearby so she would know the risks to look for during her pregnancy and know when to seek help early. Maternity Worldwide’s junior midwife, Aziza, also visited her for pre-natal check-ups to ensure she was given as much care ahead of labour as possible.
When Caroline’s labour pains began, she went to the new Maternity Centre as advised by midwife Aziza and gave birth safely to a baby girl. Caroline said,
“It is a good experience to deliver at the clinic; the care given to me was so great!”
Charity, from Katuugo village in Uganda, gave birth to triplets with the support of Maternity Worldwide midwives earlier this summer.
Charity was able to deliver two of her babies safely at the new Maternity Centre assisted by Jr. midwife Aziza. Charity’s third baby was in transverse lie, unusual at this stage of pregnancy and a potential risk to the safety of both mother and baby so Aziza made the decision to refer Charity to Hoima Hospital and coordinated transport to the hospital to ensure she arrived safely and with the best chance to delivery safely. Charity arrived at the hospital on a motorbike, normally used for ante-natal activates in the village, and in the second stage of labour.
Charity went on to have an emergency caesarean section and delivered her third baby successfully. Charity gave birth to three beautiful baby boys, named Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.
Without the Maternity Worldwide midwives, Charity and her third baby may not have survived.
Maternity Worldwide supported Evelyn through her first pregnancy. Evelyn attended all four recommended ante-natal sessions and our midwives observed her pregnancy progressing well.
Evelyn went into labour late one evening and arrived at the Maternal Health Centre in the early (latent) stage of labour. Evelyn’s labour progressed normally but then during the second stage, Evelyn’s baby’s head failed to turn sufficiently and got ‘caught’ (deep transverse arrest). To deliver a baby from this obstructed position requires a qualified obstetrician and so Evelyn was referred to Hoima Hospital. Evelyn was continually monitored during the transfer to hospital and kept on a drip to maintain the baby’s heart rate. At the hospital, Evelyn underwent successful caesarean section and was delivered of a healthy baby girl.
Evelyn’s story demonstrates how vital it is, even for mother’s whose pregnancy is progressing well, to have skilled birth attendants.
Without Maternity Worldwide’s midwives on hand, the obstructed labour would not have been diagnosed and an obstetrician may not have attended Evelyn in time to deliver her baby safely.
Scovia from Uganda gave birth to a healthy baby girl at Kiryabutuzi Maternity Centre in late March.
Scovia was able to receive health talks and good care during antenatal classes from Maternity Worldwide midwives as the clinic was within easy access from her home. When she went into labour she called Senior Midwife Pauline by phone to talk about the way she was feeling. Pauline advised her to come to the new Kiryabutuzi Maternity Centre where she went on to deliver her baby.
“Kiryabutuzi clinic has made birth a positive experience and not a journey of suffering"
On average it costs just £15 to provide a safe birth for a mother and her baby, so your donations to our charity dips and events make a real difference to the families helped by Maternity Worldwide.
We are proud to continue our support of the invaluable and life-changing work they do; we hope the Oscha community will continue to give generously to allow them to continue their inspirational mission and achieve their goal of providing access to safe childbirth to women regardless of where they live.