#FirstDay : Why The World Needs Midwives and Basic Medicine for Newborn Babies

Zakaria, a newborn baby in Gardo General Hospital, Puntland, Somalia.RS67063_Baby_Zakaria-11 Do you remember that moment of pure rapture, shock and excitement of your baby’s first few hours? Last year, I had my second child at home and even though the birth was so fast that she popped out before the midwife arrived (!), I felt safe in the knowledge that she was on her way and would help me deliver the placenta and check my baby over.

The knowledge and experience that midwives have is amazing and everyone in the world should have access to that. In the UK, we have the services of NHS (despite it’s faults) and wonderful independent midwives. People in other countries are not so lucky. Every year, around the world, 2.9 million babies die in their first month from things that are preventable. The outcome could be changed with the help of a trained and equipped midwife along with basic medicines such as antiseptics and antibiotics, vital equipment and a clean environment to work in.

The world has made amazing progress in saving children’s lives over the past two decades. The number of children who die each year has dropped from 12.6 million in 1990 to 6.6 million in 2012.


This year, for the first time ever, countries around the world will sit down to agree a global action plan to save newborn lives which would mean:

  • Saving the lives of 2 million newborn babies a year
  • Ensuring that every baby is born with the support of a trained and equipped midwife

Save the Children want David Cameron to sign the Newborn Promise – a plan to ensure that by 2025 every baby is born with the life-saving support of a midwife.

Please sign the petition to the Prime Minister to make sure every baby is born with the life-saving support of a midwife.


Is it a Book or a Bed?

Much debate currently in the news about whether children should be allowed in museums following an art-accidentally-used-as-soft-play incident at the Tate Modern. Cue Kids in Museums waving the child-friendly flag and some other curmudgeonly types saying ‘Shhh! Children should be seen and not heard!‘. Not in Peckham though – see here cousin babies Olaf and Ada Ngaio playing happily on a giant book-shaped bed, aka the Bookbed.

Created by artist Ruth Beale (name not just a coincidence, she’s my talented sister) at the Peckham Platform in South London, Bookbed invites you to explore the library in the context of 21st century technologies with a giant bed as it’s centrepiece (that you can lie on, take in the world, read a book). You can have a go at the creative writing challenges using the ‘self-publishing station’ of an old fashioned typewriter, read books from the shelves, join in with workshops and talks, or, if you are a book group, use the space for free during the period of the exhibition.








The best of friends

Ada, at the ripe old age of one, has a little chum called Oaky. Perseus Oak to be precise. A grand name for a little chap.

I’ve done a childcare swap with his mum since they were little, to give each other a bit of ‘working from home’ time. It was tough when they were 8/9 months old (think: holding two clingy babies whilst trying to get some lunch ready – the local children’s centre became a haven). Now they are both aged just over a year, they clamber about together, exploring the house: pulling books off shelves, opening and closing doors, offering each other carefully selected things and, I guess, sort of playing. They certainly entertain each other.

Oaky is always dressed in amazing outfits that his mum, Kim, makes by upcyling wool and cashmere. Her online shop, Mini Magpie, is a treasure trove of cute vintage knit onesies, cosy woolen trousers, pompoms and rickrack (love that word).

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