May 10, 2012 | The Editors

Read our birth stories, then tell yours

When it comes to pregnancy and childbirth, good information and support make all the difference. So what happens when the support’s not there and the information is more dangerous than helpful? In India, it means an astounding number of babies die before they reach their first week of life—one million each year—and 78,000 women die in childbirth.

Screenshot of website featuring grid with 12 images of people and tools used to make childbirth safer in India.
Click on the image above to visit our new special feature and learn how we worked to make childbirth safer in India. Photo: PATH.

Last October, I travelled to two rural villages in India to meet moms who, as part of our Sure Start project, are learning to change this devastating situation. Many of the expectant moms I met had the same worries that I did when my son was born two years ago: What will childbirth be like? Will there be any complications? How do I take care of a tiny baby when I leave the hospital? How does breastfeeding work?

Mom sitting cross-legged with her baby daughter on her lap.
Archana and her daughter. Photo: PATH/Gabe Bienczycki.

One of the mothers I met, Archana, had a number of these worries going into childbirth last year. But after participating in mothers’ groups and meeting regularly with a health worker, she learned how to prepare for birth and ensure the health of her newborn.

Her story is one of the many featured on our new special feature about our work in India to improve survival rates of mothers and newborns. The feature introduces the people of two small, rural villages who turned simple objects—piggy banks, childhood games, personal letters—into tools that get new families off to a healthy start.

This month, we are also inviting you to share your stories on our Facebook page and on Twitter. Who couldn’t you live without when you were pregnant? How did you prepare for your baby’s arrival? What was the economic impact of having a baby for your family?

We hope you will visit and share the special feature and join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter!

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