Make Birth Kits

Small Group/ family project idea: Make Birth kits

World Health Organization 2007 Statistics for developing countries: 

  • An estimated 1 in 16 women die during pregnancy or childbirth
  • Infection is one of the leading cause of maternal death
  • An estimated 950,00 newborns die each year from infection

In certain parts of the world women use only cloth rags to stop the bleeding, and are surrounded by unsanitary conditions. Water is often limited and does not allow for adequate cleanliness, leading to infection. In other cases, the lack of training of traditional birth attendants in providing clean and safe deliveries contributes to the death toll. Women living in remote areas are often unable to walk the distance to a clinic before going into labor, giving birth on the side of the road under a tree or bush. For that reason, many women opt to deliver at home where the risk of infection and often death is high. Birth kits provide these women with the opportunity to have a cleaner and safer delivery by equipping them with essential supplies.

A birth kit is a simple solution to help make childbirth more safe and decreased the risk of infection to the mother and the baby.

(1) 1-gallon “zip-lock” plastic bag, in which all other items will be placed.

(1) one-meter (approximately one-yard) square piece of heavy-gauge plastic 4 mil thick – to be spread under the birthing mother; plastic trash bags and shower curtains are not acceptable

(3) pairs examination gloves – to  protect mother, baby and helper

(1) bar soap (hotel-size is fine) do not remove from original packaging, or one small container anti-bacterial waterless cleaning gel – to fight the “bad germs”

(3) 12 inch long pieces of cotton string or nylon cord – to tie off umbilical cord. Must be clean; secure the pieces of string by bundling and tying them together; no yarn please.

(1) new single-edge razor blade (make sure sharp side is safely covered) – to cut the umbilical cord. Must be covered in paper or cardboard to keep it from causing injury. Regular shaving razors are not acceptable.

(4-8) sterile gauze pads or surgical sponges (4” x 4” or approximate) – in case bleeding occurs

(1)  receiving blanket – 30”x 30” or 32”x 32” size – no thermal or fleece blankets please

Assembly Directions:

Fold the plastic sheeting and blanket so they will fit easily into the plastic bag. Lay the loose items on top of the blankets and plastic sheeting. Slide all items into the plastic bag. Squeeze as much air out of the bag and then seal it. $1 each for shipping.