Tag Archives: Thoughts

Unwanted Babies

I am reminded again about the frailty of life in an urban slum.

This is a pretty sad story.

I am not going to post a picture

This poor woman is a victim, a victim of poverty and probably an abusive husband, she is trapped in her circumstance, she knows not what she does.

But to a Western mind it is good to be reminded, to be provoked to action.

ANALIZA’S STORY
Analiza is 42 years old this is her 8th pregnancy, unfortunately, only a few months before we found her she lost her 7th child 2 weeks after it was born.
She had terrible diabetes during her pregnancy (this birth as well) and she delivered at Mother and Child. The baby did not stop crying and was unwell, yet she checked herself out of hospital and this was a huge mistake.
In one week the baby developed a purple violet mark around its neck and it simply died during the night (no cold no temperature no laboring to breathe)
Once the baby got sick again and then died she was too scared to go back to the hospital, because they warned her not to go, and made her sign a waiver form.

She did not ask for help, she did not come to church, even though she knew the help was only around the corner, no-one knew that the baby died. She kept it secret and was very embarrassed.

The baby simply disappeared no funeral,  no grieving just silence.

 

Unfortunately, this kind of behavior although shocking is not unknown, the poor child was unwanted and I am guessing the mother was relieved it died. Sad shocking but true. She would have been under incredible pressure to come home from her husband and look after her other 6 chn…. so she discharged herself.

Now she is pregnant again, God help us, God help that child. we worked with her and really encouraged a ligation but I really do not think she understood, even in Tagalog. So so sad, unwanted and unloved babies. I cannot judge this woman, not really in my heart of hearts, we could never know the depths and desperation she feels.

I resolve to do what God tells me and educate as much as possible, especially our mothers.

I guess our only comfort as Christians is that child was known by God and treasured, it went to heaven to be loved and cherished.

Such a harsh world,

Mother Teresa understood.

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A Nation Leaning Into Change

I was a little surprised but thrilled when I saw a  newspaper when I was in Manila in September this year.

The headlines were remarkable.

THE ECONOMIC IMPACT OF NOT BREASTFEEDING
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From a country that allows Infant Formula advertisment to blazen boldly across their billboards and Televisions I was suitably impressed.

There were over 6 pages fully dedicated to Breasfeeding !

Also Philippine stars and VIPs supporting and advocating  breastfeeding both men and women!

Great links and advice, great images, even images showing breastfeeding TODDLERS.

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I know God has His eye on the Philippines and I am thrilled that He is stiring people even the famous ones to embrace truth, education and Him!

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There is a battle going on for the Children of this nation. I believe these are only prophetic steps in the right direction, it shows me that the Leaders and Influencers of the Nation are leaning into change, they also know it is up to them (Nationals) to bring true and lasting change NOT foreign missions and NGO’s the truth is change MUST eventually come from within.

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Am I doing myself out of a job? Absolutely

My desire is not to be needed.

Cath

Educate Educate Educate

I often think about disasters in The Philippines….I have seen a BIG typhoon and the effects of them and frankly they are SCARY, imagine if you are heavily pregnant living through this ……so I think of our precious mums and their babies often…….

Facts are that babies are born early when disaster strikes, prem babies are common….but with some simple principles we can help educate our mum’s…this is a great article in Midwifery Today, simple but loads we can use! Kangaroo Care is simple but effective!

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Prematurity and Kangaroo Care during a Disaster

After Super Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda slammed into our central islands here in the Philippines last November, I saw a picture in the local paper of several newborn premature babies all wrapped in plastic bags and set on a counter in a broken-down chapel of a hospital. I knew in that instant that if only we could get down there to provide, and teach others to provide, good midwifery care, including the very simple and totally free concept of “kangaroo care” for the preemies, we could save many lives.

For many years, I have been teaching Disaster Preparedness and Response, which is no surprise since I live in a country with the most natural disasters of almost any…country. (The Philippines regularly is in the top three countries each year with the most natural disasters and the most deaths from natural disasters.) We have earthquakes, volcanoes, floods, mudslides, typhoons and super typhoons, and we have very little ability as a country to cope with, or mitigate, large-scale disasters, which was the case when the largest storm to ever make landfall occurred on November 8, 2013.

There are two things we know about disasters:

  1. Disasters tend to cause premature labors, due to the stress they put on pregnant women in the vicinity when the disaster strikes. This unfortunately creates a situation where premature births are happening under the worst of circumstances—during a typhoon, flood, blizzard, earthquake or an act of terrorism.
  2. Access to hospitals, NICUs and advanced medical care is often severely blocked, limited or totally destroyed in a natural or man-made disaster zone.

That’s the bad news.

The good news is that there are a few simple, easy solutions to this problem. It will require midwives all over the world, including in the US, to be prepared to address the problem of premature deliveries following any disaster.

Current best practice for prematurity, to prevent mortality and morbidity, dictates two things:

  1. We should try to prevent a baby being born with immature, under-developed lungs.
  2. We should care for any babies that are born premature with kangaroo care.

With regard to the first practice, at the recent Women Deliver Conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, we learned about new protocols for the use of antenatal corticosteroids for threatened preterm birth. USAID is advocating that all midwives and doctors use these corticosteroids if premature delivery seems inevitable, as they cause a premature infant’s lungs to produce surfactant, thereby helping to prevent death from respiratory distress caused by immature lungs.

Vicki Penwell
Excerpted from “Prematurity and Kangaroo Care during a Disaster,” Midwifery Today, Issue 111

 

 

 

“Illegal Abortions” Reality Check

Over the past 5 years Ps Mark, Christine and I have seen various and shocking incedents of illegal abortions in Baseco, we have seen suspected failed abortions and babies have been born with extreme and sometimes life threatning disfigurements and sicknesses. We have met ladies unable to concieve probably due to botched abortions…. we have heard stories and grieved over this very thing.

This determines us once again to persist in BBB and make a change, give women and girls an option to control their fertility, educate them to understand their bodies and to help them to stay in school as long as possible. To help them understand God has a plan for them and a hope and future.

We are determined to make a change.

This video is excellent but is graffic in areas. But reality.

Ponder these things and they will make you want to make a difference

Cathy

Matilde: True Willingness To Learn

I have known this lady for nearly 5 years now…

She was one of my faithful attendees at my well attended and much loved Gasungan Birthing Classes many years ago.

She is a leader in this small fellowship and has been faithful .

I wrote a quote in the linked blog on Gasungan ladies and our ‘Tilde is a living example of a true learner

You don’t need fancy highbrow traditions or money to really learn. You just need people with the desire to better themselves.

Adam Cooper and Bill Collage, Accepted, 2006

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I just love this photo of her, relaxed feeding her big 9lb baby, we think that is a BBB record!  Very healthy little Aleah!

Sometimes I like to take a moment and smell the roses and rejoice in mothering with these ladies, the great equalizer and bond in the earth is birthing….we are all born through a mother and a father…..rich and poor, black or white, male or female, the lawyer and the pedicab driver we are all equal.

Birth proves it!

Selah Cathy

 

 

Without love…..

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Without love, without heart we are nothing…

No degree, no intelligence, no papers qualify us to others more than love.

That is why all are welcome to help with Birthing Better Babies, if we have love we have something to give.

Period!

I would prefer a less qualified lover of people than a qualified professional.

Of these things the greatest is LOVE.

Selah on this Thoughtful Thursday!

Days for Girls

We have been really blessed to partner with our local chapter of Days for Girls in Kapunda South Australia

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Our dear friend Deb has welcomed us with open arms to Kapunda Craft and Hope Sewing Days!

It has been so exciting to meet and sew and be given over 50 kits to take for free to Baseco this year.

I have been able to share the time with my daughter (9 years old) who has enjoyed thoroughly using an overlocker and zooming up liners for Days for Girls Kits…..makes her part of the ministry in Baseco. That is big in her world!

The kits are ingenious, they are fully recyclable allowing girls to wash and reuse their pads without any ongoing costs for sanitary items . They are simply beautiful as well! All easy to use and pretty to look at housed in a discreet cotton backpack!

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Here are some beautiful photos of our sewing days with the team!

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26. Kapunda

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And here are the kilos of Kits we are taking over to Manila!

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All I can say is that I am grateful for ladies who love to sew with a purpose!

Not to mention the beautiful quilts made and singlets collected for me.

28 Days for Girls

Every girls deserves dignity and Days for Girls helps us get there!

Day to Day

In Baseco there are so many young mothers the Team find themselves constantly Mothering these young mums

Often they are alone and scared, they have left their home in the Province or parents and have no support and find themselves with a baby in a strange world! Just  like this sweet mum Christine helped this year.

She was not a Birthing Better Baby mum but she was young alone and inexperienced with a new baby. The baby was struggling to feed and she just needed some support.

She just needed some mothering. It does not take much to love and listen. The women on the ground in Baseco are constantly being a mother to the motherless.

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Our quote really fits into this situation…..

“Becoming a mother makes you the mother of all children. From now on each wounded, abandoned, frightened child is yours. You live in the suffering mothers of every race and creed and weep with them. You long to comfort all who are desolate.” — Charlotte Gray

Providing an ear and a spiritual shoulder to lean on goes a long way in Baseco

Desiree Robles

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This is what we do on a day to day basis.

Freely given to whoever comes.

Cath

 

Jinky’s Story

We met Jinky about a year ago,

She joined the Birthing Better Babies Programme.

She was 25, already had a young child

Then she met a man.

She became pregnant to him.

After all he had a  job

Looked after her and her small child.

Life looked good for Jinky.

However life is hard in the slum.

It turns out the man had a wife already.

His wife was an Filipino Overseas Worker away for months at a time.

She returns.

To her house and to her husband.

He returns to his wife.

Jinky is turned out

Unprotected

Pregnant

Rejected.

Jinky alone, desperate and devastated has the baby.

Under immense financial pressure to support the newborn

Jinky is forced to give the baby away.

No one knows who to, perhaps family in the province,

Perhaps to a couple who can support the child for her,

Perhaps to strangers.

We do know

Jinky was sad, so very sad.

Devastated.

We all were.

From everything to nothing.

From happiness to deep sadness,

No mother gives her baby away unless she must.

Life is tough in the slum.

Women do what they must

To survive

To live

To eat.

Jinky’s story is not unusual,

She is one of many

Even hundreds

Even thousands of woman and girls.

Coping with unplanned pregnancies

Unstable relationships.

There is no photo of Jinky

Perhaps that is good

Perhaps Jinky can remind us of the betrayed and alone

The women abandoned and pregnant.

Birthing Better Babies helped

But not enough.

Jinky had choices

She did not know them.

Choices such as school, education, work

Choices that empowered her

Stabilised her

Grown her.

Pray we are part of the solution for girls like Jinky.

Pray we offer life in the darkness

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Cathy

Baseco 2015

This is an exciting time in the Birthing Better Babies World

This year in April I am going to Baseco with Australian  midwives from Impact Erina Church, this presents the BBB team with a greater and wider opportunity to touch and bless the local community with reaching skills much wider than my own. Very exciting but at the same time challenging.

It has been interesting though, throughout the past two years I have found my heart leaning heavily toward the word PREVENTION….

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Prevention rather than cure! Birthing Better Babies is a cure, albeit a worthwhile one, it is a cure to an essential problem which can be whittled down to a few basic facts which are prevalent in Baseco …

  • Unplanned pregnancies for women
  • Multiple pregnancies and fear of contraception
  • Teens getting pregnant
  • Lack of education for women in general
  • General body ignorance

So with more man/woman power we can now tackle at least some of this problem. Every ounce of time we spend educating the next generation will eventually have an impact on the babies they create.This will be our focus.

Even the interpreters we use are young impressionable girls who will hear the message of health, awareness, education advantages and sexual health over and over again! They will speak it and eventually they will become it! They in turn will teach their children a better way and the level will slowly begin to rise, the tide will begin to turn!

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So as we travel to Baseco this year we are armed with tools that will open doors of communication for this kind of communication. I have found most of my most impacting times have been one on one with women, door to door sitting in women’s houses and speaking as sisters Days for Girls Kits are a perfect tool to open these conversations as well as bless them with a great resource.

Every girl in the world deserves education, safety, and dignity. We help girls gain access to quality sustainable feminine hygiene and awareness, by direct distribution of sustainable feminine hygiene kits, by partnering with nonprofits, groups and organizations, by raising awareness, and by helping  communities around the world start their own programs.

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These kits will allow us to speak to women and girls and share on principles of

  • Body awareness and correct terms for body parts
  • Hygiene and germs
  • Body respect
  • Schooling and advantages of
  • Sex Education

We will also take part in a General Body Awareness Day with the Youth of the areas and churches, focusing on

  • Finding out what they actually know
  • Body parts and correct names
  • How are babies conceived
  • How can we prevent pregnancy

With these tools we can begin to build a fence of protection around the top of the cliff rather than an ambulance waiting at the bottom.

So pray as we prepare to go. I am sure we will all be challenged and stretched. But above all pray for the women and the girls we speak to that we will make a difference that they will be open to hear!

Thanks and Blessings

Cathy