twins in recovery

Slobbery Kisses and Choking Hugs – Ending Newborn Deaths

To be honest, I have been sitting here staring at the “add new post” screen for almost an hour.  I don’t know what to write.  I’m not even sure I am able to put into words what I am feeling. I just finished reading the Save the Children “Ending Newborn Deaths” report and I am shaken to the core.  

Consider this:

  • 2 million newborn babies could be saved by ending preventable newborn mortality
  • 1 million babies who did not survive their first day of life in 2012
  • 2.9 million babies died within 28 days of birth in 2012
  • 6.6 million children died before their fifth birthday in 2012
  • 1.2 million stillbirths in 2012


Do you understand why I am shaken to the core?

I was lucky.  I was able to carry two healthy twins full-term with minimal complications.  I was lucky.  I delivered two healthy twins who did not have any health problems.  I was lucky.  My twins did not even spend one minute in the NICU after birth.  I was lucky.  Four days later, my twins went home with me when I was discharged.  I am lucky.  In another month, my twins will turn five.

Obviously, not everyone is as lucky.

I was lucky enough to live in an area and have the funds to access quality healthcare and specialists.  Doctors and specialists that walked me through the entire process – from infertility treatments to delivery to postnatal checkups to well-baby and sick-baby visits.  

Not everyone is as lucky.

Proper and essential care needs to be available to all women and children, regardless of their age, economic background, religion, or ethnicity.  Small changes could save lives.  Many women do not even have access to skilled care – and 40 million women each year give birth without the help of a midwife or other trained health worker.  Two million give birth completely alone.

In many countries, the poorest families are twice as likely to lose a baby as the richest families.


I have been honored to be a part of the Every Newborn Action Plan from the beginning.  As a Global Team of 200 member, I have had the opportunity to weigh in and comment on why newborn health is important and what needs to be done to reduce infant mortality.  It has been an eye-opening experience.  For the first time ever, countries, institutions, and key players will be presented with the Every Newborn Action Plan and come to an agreement on its steps and accountability.  But, I don’t think I really got it until I read the Save the Children report released today.  

Save the Children is working to ensure this plan just isn’t on paper– that it becomes fact.  They have issued the report today with recommendations and calls-to-action for world leaders, philanthropists, and the private sector to end preventable newborn deaths around the world.


Why is newborn health important?

6.6 million moms and dads are going to bed tonight without their child’s slobbery kisses and choking hugs

6.6 million moms and dads are living without their children every day for the rest of their lives

6.6 million families have suffered a loss like no other

6.6 million families will never be whole again

6.6 million deaths are preventable


…we can become the generation to end all preventable newborn, child and maternal deaths – and ensure that no baby is born to die.


So, why is newborn health, maternal health, newborn survival, the Every Newborn Action Plan, and the Save the Children Ending Newborn Deaths report so important to me personally??


6.6 million preventable deaths is 6.6 million too many.  

Every mom and dad should be lucky.  

Every mom and dad should be given slobbery kisses and choking hugs.

Every child should be given the chance to survive.

 twins in recovery

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  1. This is an incredible post. I am shaken to the core too. I was one of those mothers in December 2011. And you are right, we will never be whole again. Thank you for sharing this message.

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