The Love A Mama Community’s Bloggers for Birth Kits initiative – getting clean birth kits into the hands of women in need

clean birth kit contents

Helping to reduce maternal and infant mortality in developing nations.

[2014 Love A Mama Update: over 10,000 clean birth kits donated!]

bloggers for birth kits baby from papua new guinea

Every minute a women dies of complications related to pregnancy and childbirth.

Ninety-nine percent of these deaths occur in developing nations.  For every woman who dies in childbirth, another 30 women incur injuries and infections, which are often preventable. (Source: World Health Organization.)

Chances are if you’re a mother reading this blog, you are not one of them. Most likely you delivered your baby safely and hygienically in a hospital, birth center, or at home with the assistance of a qualified, experienced midwife, and had ready access to medical professionals throughout your pre- and post-natal care.

But hundreds of thousands of mothers around the world aren’t as lucky as you.

bloggers for birth kits mama and baby in png

The organization that my husband and I volunteer for (YWAM Medical Ships) regularly sends teams of volunteer doctors, dentists, optometrists, ophthalmologists, nurses, midwives, educators, and other workers to address the needs of the poor in Papua New Guinea through mobile clinics on our ship and on land. We provide dental services, eye glasses, cataract surgeries, vaccines, primary health care, education, and other crucial services–including clean birth kits and maternal health education–to those who most need it.

In rural Papua New Guinea 1 in 7 women die in childbirth and that rate is simply unacceptable.

There are plenty of resources in the world to help these mothers and babies… they just need to be collected and redistributed.

bloggers for birth kits volunteer handing out birth kits

This is where you come in.

Bloggers for Birth Kits is a simple initiative of the Love A Mama Community to rally bloggers (and friends of bloggers) to reach out and help mamas in Papua New Guinea. These women may seem very different to you… but they are mothers with the same heart – mothers who desire to deliver healthy, thriving babies just as we do. (The idea was born out of this post: Four Healthy Mamas, Four Healthy Babies.)

bloggers for birth kits logo 150

What can you do?

CRITICAL UPDATE AS OF MARCH 2014: If you are interested in assembling clean birth kits or getting involved another way, please check my Love A Mama Clean Birth Kit FAQ page where I will continue to post the latest relevant information.

What’s in a clean birth kit?

clean birth kit contents

The specifics:

1. Soap (for the birth attendant to wash her hands). Use a hotel-size soap or cut a regular bar of soap into 1/8-sized pieces. (Microwave the bar of soap for 30 seconds to soften it for cutting).

2. One pair of plastic gloves (for the birth attendant to wear).

3. Five squares of gauze (to wipe the mum’s perineum and baby’s eyes). Gauze pieces should be about 10×10 centimeters or 3×3 inches.

4. One blade (to cut the cord). You can buy individually wrapped sterile blades at the pharmacist or buy utility blades (much cheaper) at the hardware store. We teach the women to boil the blades for sterilization, so utility blades work just fine.

5. Three pieces of strong string (2 for tying the cord, 1 for “just in case”). String should be about 30 centimeters or 10 inches long.

6. One plastic sheet (for a clean birthing surface). Sheet should be approximately 1×1 meter or 1×1 yard and can be purchased at your hardware or paint store.

7. One sandwich-size ziplock bag (to pack the contents).

200 clean birth kits

200 clean birth kits recently assembled by some friends and I… now ready to sail to PNG!

How do I assemble my kit?

Gather the items, prepare a clean surface, wash your hands thoroughly, and assemble the items into a ziplock bag. The idea is that the kits are small enough to pack in large quantities (space is incredibly limited on our ship) and simple enough to not deter women who are accustomed to very little medical services and who often are illiterate.

Please ensure that you don’t pack the soap next to the gauze (so as not to sting baby’s eyes). Place the plastic gloves between them or buy pre-packaged gauze.

[FAQ page is here!]

These clean birth kits are so basic, and yet even in their simplicity they can make the difference between life and death for a woman unable to get to a regional clinic to birth her baby.

My kit cost me a total of $3.10 to make at home when I didn’t buy the supplies in bulk or approximately $2.00 per kit when I’ve made them in bulk.

If you are a visual learner, you can also watch this video that I made last year. (Feel free to repost it or link to it.) During the first part I tell the story of how B4BK was born, and from the 3-minute mark you can see step-by-step instructions for how to assemble your own kit.

I know from the response to Bloggers for Birth Kits in last year’s Mothers Day Drive (2011) that moms care about moms(We raised over 2000 kits!!) We love our children and we know without a doubt that every mother’s heart beats the same. When given the chance we are quick to lend a hand to other mamas in need.

So why don’t you consider donating funds or—even better—gathering a group of your mama-friends together to assemble your own box of kits?

Please visit the FAQs page and feel free to email me if you have any questions.

In support of moms everywhere,


Photos courtesy of YWAM Ships.

15 Comments

  • Reply Mom bloggers are blogging for life - Bloggers for Birth Kits 19 April 2012 at 9:27 pm

    […] bloggers for birth kits […]

  • Reply Give a mama LIFE this Mothers Day - Clean Birth Kits 19 April 2012 at 9:31 pm

    […] bloggers for birth kits […]

  • Reply four healthy mamas and four healthy babies… and many not so lucky - The Mommyhood Memos 19 April 2012 at 9:39 pm

    […] bloggers for birth kits […]

  • Reply mothers day for those who have lost or are longing - The Mommyhood Memos 19 April 2012 at 10:33 pm

    […] bloggers for birth kits […]

  • Reply The Mother Letters | Will you remember her, mama? 23 April 2012 at 1:59 pm

    […] bloggers for birth kits […]

  • Reply Bloggers for Birth Kits: Reducing maternal mortality in developing nations 25 April 2012 at 10:04 am

    […] bloggers for birth kits […]

  • Reply Bloggers for Birth Kits | My Reflection of Something 26 April 2012 at 3:21 am

    […] am teaming up with Adriel from The Mommyhood Memos and Bloggers for Birth Kits this Mother’s Day! Take a look at how easy it is to bless a fellow mother… Did you know […]

  • Reply Bloggers for Birth Kits | Reducing maternal and infant mortality « Smiling Watermelon 1 May 2012 at 10:10 pm

    […] will grow up without a mother… but together, we can change that. Please visit Adriel’s blog The Mommyhood Memos to learn […]

  • Reply Bloggers for Birth Kits: My Mother’s Day Wish | tinybirdtales 3 May 2012 at 2:28 pm

    […] it only takes small actions to accomplish them. For more information, please visit Adriel’s blog. Like this:LikeBe the first to like this post. This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark […]

  • Reply It’s the International Day of the Midwife — Help a Woman in Need Give Birth Safely « Veggo Preggo 6 May 2012 at 5:33 am

    […] Midwife is to contribute a clean birth kit to women and birth attendants in developing countries. Bloggers for Birth Kits is an initiative asking women to contribute a kit — the contents of which, seen at the top of […]

  • Reply For the mothers we don’t know | 6 May 2012 at 4:34 pm

    […] my children and in memory of mother, I am joining with Adriel of The Mommyhood Memos and supporting Bloggers for Birth Kits.  Both of my children were born at home with a midwife-provided birth kit.  I had simple, […]

  • Reply Mother’s Day Gift: Bloggers for Birth Kits « Enjoying Each Moment 8 May 2012 at 11:29 am

    […] and read the article.  In the article was a link to Adriel’s blog which has a page titled Bloggers for Birth Kits.  In a simple description on Adriel’s site she explains it as […]

  • Reply Celebrate Mother’s Day by Donating or Making “Clean Birth Kits” | Fitmomease 10 May 2012 at 11:31 am

    […] is very easy to put your own Clean Birth Kit together and mail it yourself (instructions here) or you can donate money to have kits provided to moms in Africa (click here) or rural Papua New […]

  • Reply On No Mothers Day and Why I Can’t Be Quiet | Progressive Parenting 11 May 2012 at 1:25 pm

    […] me in doing what I have planned. My self and other mom bloggers will be spending mothers day making Birth Kits. Adriel of The Mommyhood Memos came up with this fabulous idea of making kits to send to Papua […]

  • Reply Happy Mother’s Day! | Birth Literacy 11 May 2012 at 8:22 pm

    […] to celebrate mothers and reduce the maternal mortality rate, I love Adriel Booker’s Bloggers for Birth Kits program.  Follow the link to learn how to make safe birth kits yourself (complete with gloves, […]

  • Leave a Reply