There’s nothing like the birth of a baby. I have two daughters and remember the details of their births, mostly the good parts, anyway. Twenty-seven years ago, I gave birth to my daughter. Her birth was pretty easy with just 4 – 5 hours of labor. My 15 year old daughter’s birth day was a bit more difficult with 18 hours of labor. But no matter the pain and the fear, giving birth is such a joy.
Holding your baby, hearing the first cry of your baby and nursing your baby for the first time is emotional. The maternal feelings, the bliss, is more than I can describe. And it caused me to forget a lot of the pain and some of the terrible things I said during labor!
Both of my daughters were born in Florida. Although there is the chance of newborn death in the first 24 hours in the US, it is much lower than in poverty stricken countries such as Ethiopia and the Republic of Congo. There are many reasons for this newborn deaths, reported by Save the Children. And there are ways to lower these statistics.
Their report, “Ending Newborn Deaths: Ensuring Every Baby Survives” tackles these problems. First the good news: “The world has made amazing progress in reducing child mortality during the past decade – nearly halved from 12 million to 6.6 million – thanks to global political action on immunization, treatment of pneumonia, diarrhea, and malaria, family planning and nutrition.” (Source – Save The Children)
But, 6.6 million deaths is way too much. We need to work every day to lower this number. Here is Save the Children’s Five Point Newborn Promise in 2014, which calls on world leaders, humanitarians, and all of us to help make these changes:
- Issue a defining and accountable declaration to end all preventable newborn mortality, saving 2 million newborn lives a year and stopping the 1.2 million stillbirths during labor
- Ensure that by 2025 every birth is attended by trained and equipped health workers who can deliver essential newborn health interventions
- Increase expenditure on health to at least the WHO minimum of US$60 per person
- To pay for the training, equipping and support of health workers, and remove user fees for all maternal, newborn and child health services, including emergency obstetric care (Source – Save the Children)
This infograph shares statistics that should make all of us want to work toward changes toward lowering newborn death:
I implore you to share this information using the hashtag #FirstHour, to sign a petition requesting our President to act towards lowering childhood deaths in the US – and to make donations such as a Newborn Care Package.
Think about healthy babies born recently and help end newborn death everywhere.
As a member of the Global Team of 200, I am honored to share information and my personal opinion about the Save the Children report on Ending Newborn Deaths.