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Motherhood Nigeria

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Motherhood NG Initiative is a women-led non-governmental organization with the mission to improve maternal, neonatal and child health in underserved communities in Nigeria.

In line with its commitment to improving maternal health outcomes in underserved communities, Motherhood NG Initiative held training under Project Safe Birth for 50 Traditional Birth Attendants at Ado-Odo Ota Local Government in Ogun State on prevention of postpartum hemorrhage. Postpartum hemorrhage has been identified as one of the top 3 leading causes of maternal mortality in Nigeria.

The one day eye-opening training was facilitated by two certified medical practitioners and the traditional birth attendants were taught the signs that can lead to postpartum hemorrhage and how to prevent it. However, they were also cautioned to know their limits, so as to reduce maternal and child mortality in Nigeria.

The founder, Motherhood NG Initiative, Abiodun Alabi, stated that Project Safe Birth is focused on reducing maternal mortality in underserved communities in three ways; by training of traditional birth attendants, providing free safe birth kits to pregnant women in rural communities and causing social behavioral change towards family planning through sensitization and following up with messages to promote family planning to these women via E-mobile in their respective indigenous languages.

The Sustainable Development Goal 3 (SDG3) aims to ensure healthy lives and promotes wellbeing for all across all ages and genders. The first target of the SDG 3 seeks to reduce the global maternal ratio to less than 70 per 100,000 live births. According to the World Bank, the maternal mortality ratio in Nigeria as of 2017 was 917 per 100,000 live births.

Motherhood NG Initiative is working towards achieving the SDG3 by 2030.

Abiodun Emiola Alabi is a passionate Human resource professional and serial entrepreneur. She is very keen about people and performance management. She is an enthusiastic and self-motivated professional with over 12 years experience in human capital management, business development and social entrepreneurship.

She has a BS.c in Business Administration and Management. ‘Biodun is also an associate member of Chartered Institute Personnel Management of Nigeria (CIPM) and Nigeria Institute of training and development (NITAD) respectively. She’s alumni of Day star leadership academy.

Abiodun is also  the founder of the foremost Moms platform; Motherhood Nigeria  Initiative, where she shares tips and educate moms on how to navigate the journey . Through her platform she has empowered and supported women in undeserving communities through her “Project Safe Birth” Initiative.

She shares her story in this interview with Esther Ijewere

Childhood Preparation

My childhood definitely prepared me to build resilience and empathy. It taught me to create lemonade from any lemon experience. Growing up was not quite exciting for me. From a family of 6 (six) children, I happened to be the forth born and the last daughter of my family.During my secondary school days, my family lived in a face-me and face-you house in Ibadan. Then, we had a young couple as our neighbours. The man’s wife was friendly and industrious. However, she had complications during the childbirth of her second baby which led to excess bleeding and she later passed on. The situation of her children after her death was unpleasant as there was no proper care for her children. This situation made me determine to strive to support motherhood in the future.

Inspiration behind Motherhood Nigeria Initiative

I have always believed women can solve many of the societal problems when there is synergy. In 2018, when Bill Gate visited Nigeria, he said, “Nigeria is one of the most dangerous places to give birth with the forth worst maternal mortality rate in the world…” His statement made me remember the incident of a woman that bled to death during her child birth when I was in secondary school. So I began to think, read and research how I could proffer solutions to the reduction of maternal mortality in Nigeria. That gave birth to Motherhood Ng Initiative; a woman-led NGO purposely established to improve the maternal and child health in rural communities in Nigeria.

The Journey so far

It has been enlightening and challenging, I must say. It has stretched me to live my comfort zone. Since we started, we have trained women in five states in Nigeria as changed agents for maternal and child health in communities closest to them. This is made possible through the members of our online community for mothers and mothers-to-be for almost six years. We have done community outreach to campaign and promote the family planning to women and their families. In June 2020, we launched Project Safe Birth and it has reached more than 50 pregnant women with free safe birth kits. We shall continue to address issues that concern women within reproductive age and children under age five.

Project Safe Birth

Project Safe Birth was launched to focus on improving maternal and neonatal health, increase the quality of lives of mothers and newborns with provision of free safe birth kits for pregnant women as well as providing health education and advisory. This project will also embark on family planning awareness for both mothers and their spouses. We recently launched this project and it has provided over 50 safe birth kits for pregnant women in two states. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends six steps to prevent infection during childbirth. Our safe birth kits contain items that prevent infection which is one of the leading causes of maternal and infant mortality. Project Safe Birth’s target is to provide 10,000 safe birth kits to pregnant women in rural communities in Nigeria before the end of 2020.

Challenges 

The challenges I experienced since the establishment of our NGO have really helped me to think outside the box to create funding solution for the sustainability of our vision.

One of the challenges is funding. Presently, we seek for partnerneship with interested organizations and supportive individuals to reach out to more women in rural communities.

Being a Member of Several Organisations

I am an associate member of Chartered Institute personnel management of Nigeria and Nigeria Institute of training and Development respectively.  My thirst for personal development and human capital development can be linked to it. I always believe human resources are the most important resources to sustain an organization.

Women who Inspire me

Pastor Funke Adejumo; the Convener of Winning Edge Women Conference and Founder of Funke-Felix Adejumo Foundation. She is an exemplary woman of unusual grace and courage.

Mrs. Ibukun Awosika. She is a global, phenomenal and fearless woman. She has achieved global recognition and attained heights that break gender barriers.

Impact of the Motherhood Nigeria page

The Motherhood Nigeria social media page was created almost six years ago on BBM channel and migrated to Instagram two years ago with the community of twelve thousand mothers and mothers-to-be.

The platform has impacted mothers in racing their children and helped them to make informed decisions in their motherhood journey.

Work life balance

It is difficult to explain how I cope with multiple responsibilities. I realized that there is nothing like work life balance but work life integration. So I try as much as possible to prioritize being a mother and wife over work and vice versa.

Coping Mechanism during the pandemic

Be resilient and stay focus. The solution you are looking for is in you. Look inward. There is abundance locks up in you waiting to manifest. Be contented.

Being a Woman of Rubies

I am a woman of rubies because I am solution oriented and resilient. I believe in women providing solutions to communities.

 

According to the World Health Organization,  Nigeria is the country where 20% of all global maternal deaths happen and also the largest country in Africa. The high number of maternal deaths in Nigeria, especially in the rural communities is due to unequal access to health services.

A safe birth kit with essential items will protect the life of mothers and babies during childbirth from infection.

According to the convener Abiodun Alabi;  “Motherhood Nigeria Initiative launched Project safe birth to reach out to pregnant women in underserved communities with the focus to educate and provide free safe birth kits include such as sterile blade, sterile gloves, antiseptic soap, antiseptic disinfection, cord clamp, mucus extractor, maternity pad and mentholated spirit. These basic items have a huge impact in preventing or responding to complications during childbirth.

Please support us to reach out to more pregnant women in Ogun state and Lagos state. A safe birth kit cost N3000, you can donate to sponsor a pregnant woman or more.

Send donations to; MotherhoodNg Support Service
Account Number: 1241168243
Bank:  Access Bank

For more enquiries;

Follow @motherhoodnigeria & @motherhoodnginitiative for more Information

motherhoodng@gmail.com call: 07088989373 Whatsapp: 07059742023

No woman deserves to die while giving birth.

#motherhoodnginitiative

#projectsafebirthng

I was as prepared as I could be for my body to run the marathon that is childbirth, yet it turned out to be more like a sprint.

You see, I gave birth in a car—and I felt invincible.

During pregnancy, I chose to create a positive experience. I sought all the research I could. I watched birth videos and documentaries, read birth stories, learned about the stages of labor, recorded coping techniques, drank red raspberry leaf tea, and ate all the dates. I sought care, prepared my cookies and teas, gathered breastfeeding cream, a pump, and belly bind. I folded baby’s diapers and clothes, praying for those important first weeks.

Perhaps the most important thing I did was to join a due date group with like-minded mamas to learn and grow with, and to share all the information, research and tips we could.

Much of my preparation was mental and spiritual prep-work. I read tons of books about birth, including faith-based books about labor, a practical guide to an “emergency” birth, and a natural pregnancy and childbirth guidebook. (And yes, I did end up using knowledge of each of these resources!)

Each of my two births were very different. With my first child’s birth, I did not know much about birth or my options. My water broke at the onset of labor and I labored grudgingly in the one hour car ride to the hospital. Once there, I begged for an epidural.

This time around, though, I approached labor differently.

I chose to experience unmedicated labor, even though it isn’t an easily understood decision. There were so many unsolicited opinions from people about what I should do with my body, and it was hard to not feel bombarded with all of the negative talk surrounding birth. But by having the support of the due date group and learning the wisdom that has been passed down in generations about childbirth, I wasn’t deterred in my decision.

I knew that I needed to focus on not being overtaken by the potential overwhelm of birth. I remembered that I had a right to informed consent and that I could find kind of positive help I needed to give birth the way I knew I needed to. I chose to memorize biblical and positive affirmations to recite during birth to help calm myself through the contractions, and focus on what’s at hand, rather than panic.

Labor began

The day my son came, I woke up before the sun at 4am and headed for the bathroom. I felt nauseous and achy like I was going to throw up and have diarrhea all at once. It was a very distinct, disgusting feeling throughout my body. Yet even with that feeling, I was in denial that labor was really starting.

My water was intact, and I was expecting my water to break at the onset of labor, as it did with my first. I was having some contractions, although extremely erratic. They were not consistent with clockwork, but they didn’t stop, either. I would have a contraction that lasted five seconds, then a break for 20 minutes. Another contraction, this time for 20 seconds, and a break for seven minutes. I tried using an app to track and time the contractions for a bit, but ultimately that proved to cause more anxiety than peace.

So I turned the app off, and focused on being present. I was so calm. I let the contractions come and go. My family didn’t even know I was in labor until they woke up with the sunrise! (I didn’t want to wake everyone up—silly me, being in active labor!)

I was grateful to labor on my own in a quiet house in the early pre-dawn hours before the house and outside world woke up. I kept my composure, breathed through contractions, read and prayed, and let the birth process happen on its own.

When the contractions did not stop, I realized this was the real thing.

Once everyone was awake, I realized that I should probably be doing more to prepare, like get to help! We haphazardly packed a bag and rushed out the door to drive an hour to the place chosen to have our baby. I was not excited for that long car ride. I remember laboring in the car before, and it was miserable for me. I also knew how quick my past labor had been, and had this deep feeling, perhaps a mother’s intuition, that we wouldn’t make it to our destination in time.

I knew that this labor was progressing very quickly, and the baby was going to be born soon. Yet we went.

Giving birth in the car

My family got into the car and we drove, planning to meet more family at the hospital to take over the care of our toddler for a few days.

I labored in the car for 40 minutes until the ring of fire came. I knew what this meant: He was crowning, and we had to park. I tried to get into the best squat position I could, facing the seat, relieved that the car had stopped at this point. I repeated my affirmations over and over, and tried to focus on staying as calm as possible.

And he was born in the car, in the back of a small town grocery parking lot.

My baby was 6 pounds and 6 ounces, born at 9:15 in the morning, as I was facing the seat backward and squatting in the passenger seat of the car.

I didn’t really push. A combination of by body’s contractions and gravity seemed to do all the work. I was squatting upright, and the baby to just sort of plopped out. Head first into the car seat, with my hand to guide his head down, and a bit of the cord and fluids followed.

I attempted to squat fairly awkwardly in the seat to hold my fresh son and rub the vernix into his sweet skin. We were in love, and I felt invincible. I immediately felt relief of all the pain and tension. The rush of oxytocin and hormones from birth made me feel on top of the world. (In that moment, I almost forgot that my toddler was in the backseat watching, eyes wide open—he was so quiet!)

The ambulance was called, we were checked out, and all was well. I waddled to the ambulance while the EMTs held towels around me and baby. They needed to take me to the hospital to make sure we were okay. I sat in the back of the ambulance stroking my baby, relieved to have more space to stretch out.

At the hospital, we sat in a room for a while until they figured out what to do with us, since the baby was already here. We stayed overnight and I reflected on the birth as I could.

Reflecting on my car birth

In some ways, I was sad. This is not what I wanted first moments with my son to be like. Although I was prepared for birth and felt incredible afterward, I felt sort of exposed to the world during the process. My body was depleted—and ultimately, my baby was born in the car (not exactly something that was on my bucket list).

I felt grief for the way (or rather, place) that my labor happened. But I was also thankful for a powerful, unmedicated birth. I grieved the loss of expectations, while being thankful for the reality. And that’s okay.

I did it. We did it. This birth was a sprint, not the marathon so many women talk about.

Nothing about my labor and contractions were predictable. I did not have much knowledge about birth before I was pregnant, but the preparation during my pregnancy helped me feel more at ease. Despite the situation, I didn’t feel that it was challenging. I felt able, or at least as able or prepared as any mother can be, for labor.

The feeling of being in labor is indescribable—the juxtaposition between pregnancy and postpartum, the time in labor where you are in the hyphen of here and there, a time that forever changes your life and family.

It was truly vulnerable and powerful—an unusual presence of two feelings that left me over-the-moon. As soon as my son was born, the feeling of pain was gone, just like that. And in its place was exhilaration; a rush of adrenaline and awe. I did it completely on my own, in the front passenger seat of the car!

Our bodies are absolute miracles. I grew into a mother of two that day, and with that, my new mission was born: to help other mothers learn and experience the feeling of being empowered by your birth and labor, not in fear of it. I decided to become a birth and postpartum doula, to empower, coach and be alongside other mothers in their own journey in birth and motherhood.

Source: Mother

Abiodun Alabi is our debut WORrior on this week’s  7 questions.

Abiodun has over 6 years experience as Human Resources Generalist Personnel. Currently, Abiodun is the founder of Motherhoodng, a social enterprise that is setup to raise group of mothers in every city in Nigeria.

Abiodun’s mission is  is to run maternal health campaign and sensitisation in communities and social media that provides information to mothers and to-be mothers.

She  holds a Bachelor degree in Business administration and Management. She is an associate member of Chartered Institute of Personnel management (CIPM) of Nigeria and Nigerian Institute of Training and Development.

Abiodun, is driven by her passion to support mothers at the delicate stage of childbirth and parenting in their motherhood journey. She answers our 7 thought provoking questions in this interview.

1. What is your biggest fear?

My greatest fear is to look back many years down the line and regret not doing something because I was afraid that it will not be successful.

2. In your darkest moments, what do you do?

I have experienced such times in life and the God factor remain my strength through them all. Also, I analyse the situation, to pick one or two lessons as I move forward, then I consistently soak my mind with positive words by listening to worship songs, positive affirmations that address the situation am going through, seek God intervention and visualize the victory am expecting.

3. What is that one thing you would like to change about yourself?
Trusting people so easily.

4. Where do you see yourself five years from now?
Looking back over some years, I would never have predicted that at this point in my life I’d be doing the kind of great work I do. Given the pace of change these days I would not presume to say that I know what I’ll be doing in the next five years. However, in the next five years I know I’ll be working hard on something that will positively impact womanhood at large, alongside smart and committed people.

5. What keeps you going in?

My determination to make positive impact in life in any way and the goal to be the first role model for my children.

6. What is your stand on feminism?  Do you consider yourself a feminist?

I stand for feminism because it is about equal rights and opportunities for both genders. I connect with anything that bring joy or goodness to women’s world.

7. What keeps you up at night?

Quest for personal development and fulfilling my purpose in life.

Send a mail to info@womenofrubies.com if you would like to be featured on #7QUESTIONS