Those of us who are a part of Mothers of Change are passionate about changing the way we give birth in Canada. We believe that a consumer voice drives changes in health care, and that women and babies can journey through birth safely and in a manner that empowers and celebrates what women can do. We believe positive, safe, empowered birth can happen more often than it does. We advocate for continued positive change in maternity care, moving towards a model of care that is woman and baby centered, and provides fewer interventions while maintaining and even improving upon Canada’s excellent maternal and neonatal health and wellness rates. Fewer inductions. Fewer cesareans. Fewer instrumental deliveries. Fewer NICU admissions. More midwives. More choices for birthing women. More spontaneous labours. More natural births. More intact perineums. These are the things that drive us.
All of us, however, have a simultaneous passion for women giving birth around the world. We feel grateful for the things that Canadian maternity care already does well:
~universal access to care
~low maternal mortality rates
~low neonatal mortality and morbidity rates
~legal protection of women’s bodily autonomy
~high level emergency care when it is needed
~desire to provide high quality care to all women and babies in Canada
~public health initiatives
We are also grateful for the things that Canadian maternity care is striving to improve
~expanding the number of hospitals designated Mother and Baby Friendly
~expanding human milk banking and the availability of pasteurized human milk for sick babies
~inclusion of midwives into the realm of maternity care providers
~funded midwifery in many provinces
~woman centered care
~access to VBAC
As we advocate for continued improvements in maternity care in Canada, it is important to acknowledge gratitude for what we have. As a part of our desire to express this gratitude, we are participating in the Birth Partners Push, a campaign to raise awareness and funding for the Shanti Uganda Society.
Shanti Uganda is a birth house in Uganda striving to help women in a country where 1 in 16 women die giving birth. Shanti Uganda was founded by a Canadian yoga instructor and wholistic wellness advocate with a passion for improving that number through a multi faceted and sustainable approach. The Shanti Uganda Society improves infant and maternal health, provides safe women-centered care and supports the well-being of birthing mothers and women living with HIV/AIDS. Specific preventative birth practices for women with HIV/AIDS can drastically reduce mother to child transmission during the birth process.
Shanti Uganda strives to be ecologically minded, creating a facility that is solar powered and built sustainably. They strive to improve birth outcomes by improving overall health, with particular attention to nutrition and self empowerment. This NGO is unique. It is strong. It is successful.
Founder and director Natalie Angell-Besseling has seen the difference a wholistic approach has made in the lives of the women served by the Shanti Uganda Society;
“1 in 16 women die giving birth in Uganda. Not only is Shanti Uganda providing a safe, empowering environment for women to give birth, but we are defying these statistics and creating a new norm for birthing women in Uganda. Of the over 100 women who have given birth at our centre in our almost two years of operation, 100% have left healthy, happy and supported by our dedicated team of midwives.”
Uganda is a country where poverty has left its mark and millions of children have been orphaned by HIV/AIDS and thousands of women die annually in childbirth. With a tremendous shortage of health care workers, maternal health in Uganda is in need of critical support. The Shanti Uganda Society provides more than simply health care; they provide women centered support for wholistic wellness.
The Shanti Uganda Birth House is a solar powered maternity center on one acre of land in the Luwero District of Uganda. Opened in 2010, the Birth House provides mother-centered care throughout pregnancy, birth and the postnatal period and is staffed by our team of Ugandan Midwives, Traditional Birth Attendant and Lab Technician. From the Birth House, Shanti Uganda runs prenatal education classes, a Community Garden Program, a Teen Girls Program and a Women’s Income Generating Group – a collective of HIV positive women who produce bags and jewellery which are sold throughout North America.
Support the work of Shanti Uganda!
Provide a monthly donation to Shanti Uganda to provide women in Uganda with 24/7 midwifery care, access to emergency vehicles in case of obstetric emergency, pre and post natal nutrition, education, and yoga classes, lab tests, and sterile equipment and birth supplies for her birth.
Own or operate a business or corporation? Know of one that might be interested in partnering with Shanti Uganda to improve maternal health outcomes? How about your midwife’s office or physician’s group? Shanti Uganda has a corporate partner program to provide an opportunity for corporations to fund its projects and improve maternal and neonatal health outcomes in Uganda.
Host a home party and support Shanti Uganda’s income generating program. Jewelry and bags made by some of Shanti Uganda’s clients and beneficiaries is available for sale at hosted parties.
Join Mothers of Change in supporting improved maternity care around the world, for Ugandan women who live, love, laugh, breath, and birth, just as we do…