Babies are the epitome of innocence; mothers, nurture and comfort. It is hard to imagine that poverty has such a detrimental impact on them both. Ours hearts clench at the thought. Access to healthcare, quality nutrition and education on being a caregiver to an infant is extremely important for babies and those who care for them. Investing in the early years of life for both moms and babies is vital to see them thrive. We are glad you chose to learn more about this critical stage of life and respond because we need people like you to be sharing the importance of caring for moms and babies in poverty and to use your influence to make a difference. Let’s get to the ABCs of moms and babies!
On this page:
Ways you can respond today
We need people like you to be sharing about this important issue. You can use your influence to educate others on the needs of moms and babies in poverty.
We also need people who will raise funds so that real, tangible action can be taken to help moms and babies survive. You can use your influence to fundraise.
And wherever there is great need, we need people of prayer. You can use your influence by committing to a four-week prayer journey for moms and babies.
Start with some stats
Did you know that neonatal conditions are the leading cause of death in low-income countries? This is an incredibly crucial time for children as they face the greatest risk of death in their first 28 days. Heartbreakingly, 2.4 million children died in the first month of life in 2019.
If babies make it through those critical 28 days, they are still incredibly vulnerable in the first five years as that early development sets them up for the rest of their lives. In fact, over 80% of a baby’s brain is formed by the age of three. Having quality nutrition is a large part of what contributes to optimal development in these early years. Up to 75% of each meal goes to building a baby’s brain. Even though this is the case, the reality is 250 million children under five in low- and middle-income countries risk not reaching their development potential because of extreme poverty and stunting. Globally in 2020, 149 million children under 5 were estimated to be stunted (too short for age), 45 million were estimated to be wasted (too thin for height) due to improper nutrition.
In order for babies to be healthy, it is absolutely essential for mothers to be healthy too! Unfortunately, quality healthcare for mothers is often too expensive for many families. More than 5 million families across Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean spend over 40 percent of their household expenses on maternal health services every year. About 295,000 women died during and following pregnancy and childbirth in 2017 (approximately 810 women every day). 94 per cent of these deaths occurred in low-resource settings and could have been prevented.
To put this reality into perspective, more than 90 per cent of all births in high and upper-middle income countries benefit from the presence of a trained midwife, doctor or nurse. For lower income countries, fewer than half of all births are assisted by a skilled health professional. This translates to the lifetime risk of maternal death in high-income countries being 1 in 5,400, compared to 1 in 45 in low-income countries.
See the impact through video
Starting in the Womb from Compassion Canada on Vimeo.
Step into their stories
Explore the stories of mothers and babies around the world and learn more about how we can meet their needs through Compassion’s Survival program.
Pregnant and without food: Hanna was abandoned and a gift changed everything
Baby Sathinee needed care: How Compassion stepped in when young Thai parents were separated from their newborn baby
The emotional birth stories of moms in quarantine: There when it is most needed
A mother’s lullaby: Why mothers are bearing the brunt of COVID-19
Now that you have learned why babies and their caregivers need support in this critical stage of life, you can take action to ensure they thrive. Prayerfully consider how you can use your influence to make a difference.