Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Supplies needed for Senegal birthing clinic

Meet Kristine Lauria. 

Midwife, single mother, Lego aficionado and all-around amazing woman.

She helps bring babies into the world. What a cool job.

Kristine lives in Colorado, but she goes to Senegal every year for an entire month to participate in something called the African Birth Collective. This is an international group of midwives and students who travel to small clinics in Senegal to teach, exchange ideas and facilitate the safety and empowerment of local women during the birthing process.

A busy day at the clinic - six births

Relatives and co-wives often accompany the mother

Kristine's son, Allesandro (12), now accompanies her on her trips
(I wonder if she'll adopt me?)

 Allesandro's school made these bears to bring on their last trip

Kristine with 3 lb preemie

 Gorgeous mama and baby - my uterus is aching

She is leaving in early November for another month-long trip, where she will be volunteering and teaching at a large fishing village on the coast of Senegal.

One of the ways she assists the mothers and babies is by bringing over much needed supplies. The clinics run on a bare bones budget and may items are old or re-used (for instance, they often wash and re-use the same gloves for each delivery). Here is a picture of some of the equipment she found on her last trip.

Yes, that's rust on the scissors

This is where you come in (you knew there was a reason I was writing about this, didn't you?). Kristine has put out a call for supplies. Here is a list of what's needed:

Mother/Baby Packets
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Travel soap
  • Onsie
  • Socks
  • Hat
  • Put all in a 10 gallon Ziplock bag (clothing items can be gently used but no stains, please)

Additional clinic items

  • Sutures
  • DeLee’s
  • Stethoscopes
  • BP Cuffs
  • Gloves – sterile and non-sterile
  • Ambu bag
  • Syringes
  • Needles
  • Rolled gauze 1 and 2 inch
  • Hemostats
  • Scissors
  • Specula
  • Needles holders
  • Medications

I'm fresh out of specula, but I'm sending a few others things her way.

Being sponsored by a toothpaste company has its benefits

If you're wondering why Senegal, here are a few statistics.

  • The infant mortality rate in Senegal is 50 per 1,000 lives births (2010)
  • Only 40% of women get prenatal care
  • 52% have a skilled assistant at birth
  • The risk of maternal death during birth is 1 in 46
  • The average income in $200/year

If you can send Kristine a few items to take with her on her trip, what a rock star you would be. Major karma points. Can you put together a mother/baby packet? Send a box of gloves or sutures? Have a spare speculum gathering dust in the closet?

Because she's in the U.S. it's probably not feasible nor economical to send donations from overseas, but feel free to drop her a note to wish her luck.

You can contact her at honeymother (@) gmail.com for questions or a shipping address. You can also read more about her mission at her website

And Kristine, I so wasn't kidding about the adoption thing. I love babies. And travel.

Goats are okay, too.


  1. What a great cause, I've tweeted, facebooked, and I'm off to see what I have to send in. xx

  2. would love to send something but being in oz it probably would not be a very good idea. What a fantastic lady!!

    1. Yes, it would be expensive and you'd have to write SPECULUM on the outside of the package for customs. Thanks for your support and kind comment!

  3. Very worthy cause. Again as you know I am in Australia so sending a package is probably prohibitive in cost - maybe a donation???

    1. Hi Wendy, yes you can make a cash donation through paypay (see today's post or some of the comments below). Thank you! x

  4. Such a good cause. My sister (a midwife)is involved in a similar cause with East Timor. I'm with Wendy - is there any way us Aussies can help?

    1. Yes, there is! I'm putting up another post today with instructions on how to make a cash donation (or you can see Kristine's comments below). Thanks Deb, and how cool that your sister is also a midwife and works on a similar project. Love it. x

  5. Is there some way I can send or transfer some money Kristina? I would love to help out and if I can find out how to I will. There are so many wonderful people in this world.

    1. Bless you! Yes, my PayPal link is honeymother@gmail.com. I will buy medications with any monetary donations I receive. Anti-hemorrhagics are life-saving.

    2. About to donate, hopefully it gets through to you okay. You are a blessing to all those around you. xxx

    3. So glad you received my donation, it is great to be able to reach out and help those less fortunate than ourselves. You are a very special lady Kristina xxx

  6. I was wondering about making a donation too?

    Also, does anyone know how the premmie is doing?

    1. Yes! The premmie is doing very well indeed! He is fat and happy I learned from my last inquiry. His name is Francis. Thank you for asking about him.

      If you were to want to make a donation, I do have a PayPal account. The link is: honeymother@gmail.com I will purchase medications with any donations I receive - they are always badly needed.

      Thanks so much for the support everyone!

  7. Such a shame I am over here in Oz. Would have loved to contribute to her trip. Such small gestures have such incredible impact in the lives of these women. Thanks for sharing on your blog

    1. No gesture is too small, trust me. I can't do it without all the wonderful support I receive. If you wish to make a donation I have a PayPal. honeymother@gmail.com Thank you so much.


Mmmm, comments - nom, nom, nom, nom!


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