A look inside

By Published On: June 1st, 2016Tags: ,

The physical process of giving birth might be universal, but it’s no secret that the customs and care surrounding it can be vastly different worldwide. To shed light on the disparities and help improve the dire circumstances in undeveloped countries, WaterAid introduced the Deliver Life appeal, which aims to ensure health care facilities have access to clean water and practice good hygiene.

Katy Shaw, 31
Melbourne, Australia
Shaw is originally from the UK and previously lived in Malawi for two years. She finds the conditions some women give birth in to be unbelievable: “Even carrying the maternity bag is too heavy for me, I couldn’t imagine how I would cope if I had to carry 25 liters of water over a distance.”

Australia-MOM---WaterAid-James-GrantWhat’s inside:

  • toiletries
  • snacks
  • diapers
  • socks
  • mittens
  • clothes for baby
  • swaddle blankets
  • clothes for mom
  • night dresses
  • maternity underwear
  • maternity pads and nursing pads
  • massage oils

Australia-WaterAid-James-GrantTakako Ishikawa, 34
Yokohama, Japan
In Japan, there is a common belief that women should not “touch water” after delivery. It means that for about a month after giving birth, mom should not focus on housework (like boiling water for cooking or washing laundry) but concentrate on taking care of baby instead.

Japan-MOM---credit-WaterAidWhat’s inside:

  • insurance card and medical forms
  • maternity shots
  • crop top bra
  • toiletries
  • tissue paper
  • going home outfit

Japan-BAG-WaterAidAgnes Noti, 22
Iramba, Tanzania
At the Kiomboi Hospital, the labor ward has one broken toilet and no shower. After giving birth, moms either wash in the toilet or in the sink in the soiled utility room—the same sink where waste is disposed of and medical equipment is washed.

Tanzania-WaterAid-Anna-KariWhat’s inside:

  • clothes for baby
  • blanket
  • socks
  • basin
  • flask
  • tea

Tanzania-BAG---WaterAid-Anna-KariTiff Rolfe, 39
New York, United States
The only thing Rolfe was required to bring to the hospital was a car seat. The rest of the items, she says, are simply for comfort.

Tiff-Rolf-MOM---WaterAid-Caitlin-Kennedy-BradleyWhat’s inside:

  • birth plan
  • pajamas
  • flip-flops
  • slippers
  • snacks
  • lactation tea
  • going home outfit

Tiff-Rolf-BAG---credit-WaterAid-Sam-MorganChadla Suyhidy Morales Benjamio, 16
Bilwi, Nicaragua
The mom-to-be is allergic to the well water at the health center—it causes skin irritation—so she’s been collecting rainwater for bathing.

Nicaragua-MOM---WaterAid-Jordi-Ruiz-CireraWhat’s inside:

  • sheets
  • towel
  • sweater
  • cotton to put in mom’s ears after giving birth
  • wrap to tie mom’s head with
  • dishes
  • soap for bathing and washing clothes and sheets

Nicaragua-BAG---WaterAid-Jordi-Ruiz-CireraAll photos courtesy of WaterAid: (Australia) James Grant, (Japan) WaterAid, (Tanzania) Anna Kari, (USA mom) Caitlin Kennedy Bradley, (USA bag) Sam Morgan, (Nicaragua) Jordi Ruiz Cirera


Images: Courtesy of WaterAid