news

Send hope, not flowers.

The moment Kate emerged from St Mary’s Hospital.

By JULIE ULBRICHT

The moment Kate Middleton emerged from St Mary’s Hospital, the first thing I noted was how moved I was by such joyful scenes. Breakfast television was broadcasting a special moment that displayed dignity, a sense of occasion and  humanity. I was surprised at the emotion of the whole affair, especially as I realised I was crying (oh, shoosh). And what I have come to realise over the course of the morning is that I, along with countless others, have not been stirred necessarily by the fact that a child destined to be King by virtue of his family line was born – far from it. It’s more that this baby boy was brought safely into the world by loving parents and, less romantically, perhaps, by access to skilled medical and clinical staff.

It doesn’t take much to realise that the birth of many babies is not characterised by such a display of safety, security and big, big smiles; a thought that could put a dampener on the whole royal party. But I am thrilled to learn that the birth of this precious child has compelled Australians to donate to our maternal health charity Send Hope Not Flowers in order to support safe motherhood for the many, many mothers who do not have access to basic life saving interventions during pregnancy and childbirth.

One such donor summed up this sentiment when she tweeted, “I’ll be donating to @Send_Hope not flowers’ for the #RoyalBaby! For the women in the Asia-pacific who could use some royal treatment :)”.

Because what the birth of the royal baby could remind us, is that no woman should have to die in childbirth, no matter where they are born.

You see, somewhere in the world, one woman dies every 90 seconds because of complications during labour.

ADVERTISEMENT

Ninety-nine per cent of deaths take place in developing countries – notably South East Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. In nine out of ten cases, a mother’s death could have been prevented if she had had access to even the most basic care or facilities.

When mothers die, they leave more than one million children behind each year. Children who have lost their mothers are up to ten times more likely to die prematurely than those who have not.

Julie Ulbricht

In Papua New Guinea and remote parts of Indonesia, one in 17 mothers will die giving birth – a figure so high that almost every family will eventually lose a mother, sister, or daughter.

Send Hope Not Flowers has funded life-saving programs in PNG, Indonesia and the Solomon Islands over the past year – choosing projects which are long-term, sustainable and empowering for women, such as training midwives or local village women to become birth attendants or supplying basic supplies to assist with birth.

No doubt Princess Kate and Prince William would be delighted to know that donations made in their new baby’s honour will go directly to programs which can help save the life a less fortunate mother in the developing world.

If you would like to send something to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, please consider sending hope for less fortunate mothers by visiting our website. I love to think they would be thrilled to know the birth of their son can save the lives of many other princes, princesses and their mothers born in a land far, far away from privilege.

 For more information about how you can help, visit Send Hope Not Flowers

Julie Ulbricht is a singer-songwriter, moved by the plight of those living unnecessarily in extreme poverty who has been supporting Send Hope Not Flowers since its inception. You can read her blog here, and find her on Twitter at @Julie_ulbricht.

00:00 / ???