Tuesday, 16 April 2013

#Newborn2013 - We All Have a Role to Play

When I started my blog, I thought I was blogging for me, and maybe the odd friend or family member. My first dozen or more posts are quite insular, and for a while I stopped blogging. I found it hard to keep the momentum going, what should I blog about? What direction should I go?

After a while I discovered that charities love bloggers, and that I had some really important things to say. And that people wanted to listen, and to get my opinion, and that made me feel great.

So when the Partnership for Maternal, Child and Newborn Health a division of the World Health Organisation asked me to help spread the word on the #Newborn2013 conference in Johannesburg this week, I was honoured. Blogging is important and influential people do read our blogs.

One of the things I have learned, primarily through the #BorntooSoon activities last year is that the United Nations through WHO and the PMCNH strongly believe we all have a role to play in the health and wellbeing of babies everywhere.

And who better than us mums? Mums who know the power of giving our babies kangaroo care and skin to skin, of good midwifery care at home where possible, of good nutrition and sanitation, of delaying parenthood until we are physically and emotionally ready.

So much of what can help newborn health isn't fancy, it isn't expensive. A lot of it requires really simple behaviour change, and simple methods. Kangaroo care is free, it's instinctive. A lot of what we have done in the past has convinced people in developing countries that modern methods are superior, and that just isn't true. For most babies the best place is on the mother's chest, not in a plastic box. My favourite figure from the #BornTooSoon report is that almost half a million babies each year could be saved by Kangaroo Care alone. It's free! This is an easy behaviour change in my opinion.

You can follow #Newborn2013 on line and on Twitter. You can get involved in the conversation, and you can help the Partnership and other organisations determine their objectives for the coming years in ensuring every child has great opportunities, starting with the basic right to life.

Sometimes its hard to see what role you can play in Newborn Health, but it can be as easy as a tweet, as joining in campaigns online, but also looking at the bigger picture sometimes.

I urge you all to get involved in any way you can, for we all have a role to play. 


  1. Great post. I do wonder sometime why I get so worked up about breast feeding, skin to skin, baby wearing etc now my boys are older. Why does it bother me how other people raise their children? Because the more that attached parenting becomes the norm the better it will be for the children.
    We've been told that AP has helped our ASD son feel as safe as he does in a world that he finds hard to understand. The oxytocin from extended bf has also helped him, trials and studies are beginning into the importance of oxytocin, hopefully one day this will all be common knowledge.
    Good luck with the campaign.

  2. The NCT is all over skin to skin and positive bonding experiences. Our breastfeeding consultant says that in Sweden they have scrapped all their incubators and only have kangaroo care in their NICUs.
    Sometimes keeping it simple really is the best solution.