Midwife Kits: Caring for God’s Little Ones

Update: Thank you for your donations to the midwife kits!

As of March 14, we have enough large Ziploc bags for packaging.

At this time, these are the items that we need the most:

  • blankets (approx. 30”X30”)
  • thin towels
  • washcloths
  • hats (if knitted, should be small)
  • Ivory soap
  • ground cover (approx. 36”X36” unhemmed)

A completed kit is sealed and ready for the trip to Tanzania, Africa.Every Lent since 2007, our Community of Disciples Cluster parishes (St. Mary Catholic Church, Eldora and St. Mark Catholic Church, Iowa Falls) have aided African midwives who are assisting new mothers in the villages of Tanzania. One year, after the hurricane, the kits went to Haiti. Since 2011, other parishes and other Christian congregations have joined in supporting our Lenten midwife kits project.

 

Donate Online to the Midwife Project

This year, as in several past years, we received a grant of $250 from Thrivent. In addition, Thrivent has made it possible for us to accept online donations via their website. All donations will be transferred to St. Mary’s Midwife Project. Click here to make your secure donation: Midwife Project Donations through Thrivent

 

Over 5,000 Kits Delivered!

Supplies line tables in preparation for packaging the midwife kits.

As of Lent 2018, a grand total of 5,527 kits have been delivered in hopes of giving newborn babies a chance to survive. African midwives have the training and knowledge to handle the delivery of a baby, but often do not have the very basic equipment such as a clean cloth for the mother to lie on or a towel to dry and wrap the baby. To give you an idea of how basic the kits are…included in each kit is a razor blade (so the umbilical cord can be cut), 2 pieces of cord and a couple pair of medical gloves. 


Packaging for 2019 will take place on Saturday, April 6, after the 4:00 PM Mass at St. Mary Catholic Church (614 Washington in Eldora).

The deadline for donating items is March 31.

All are welcome to donate items or help package the kits!


Packaging day is a busy and joyful time as many volunteers work together to fill the kits.
After the bags are filled, it takes some muscle to squeeze the air out of the bags!

A midwife kit contains:

  • Thin Bath Towel This is the hardest item to find. They need to be THIN bath towels that will fit in the 2-2.5 gallon bag. They will be used over and over again.
  • Thin Washcloth
  • Newborn Stocking Cap  If knitted or crocheted, they need to be small. The caps can also be made out of leftover t-shirts.
  • Newborn T-shirt Either a T-shirt or onesie that has been cut off and hemmed. 
  • Bath-size Bars of Ivory Soap The soap needs be unscented.
  • Receiving Blankets  Flannel sheets or pieces of flannel or bed sheets that can be cut to size approximately 30” X 30”.
  • Ground Cover Unhemmed fabric approximately 36” X 36”. They will be on the ground where the mother gives birth. This is the only item that is not reused.
  • Razor Blade and Cord 
  • Medical Gloves 

Other items needed to package the kits:

  • Sandwich Size Ziploc Bags Used for packaging the soap and gloves.
  • 2 or 2.5-Gallon Ziploc Bags Used to package the completed midwife kits.

Please keep our midwife kit project in mind when you are out shopping or at garage sales or clearance sales or going through your closets! If the towels, washcloths, receiving blankets or t-shirts are new, they need to be washed to remove the sizing and lint. 


Is there still a need for the midwife kits?

Here in part is what we heard back: “I wish I could relay (to you) how important these kits are to the women in rural Tanzania. Just to have a clean sheet and clean cords and clean items for the baby. One story I can tell is when some of the doctors on one of the medical missions went to the villages to teach “clean birthing” they found out that often times when there is no kit available, they will put dung on the cord! No wonder there are infections! Please…know that your work is appreciated and needed…Sincerely, Kathy and all the mamas in Tanzania!”

Completed midwife kits ready to be delivered to Outreach, Inc.

Questions? Contact Sr. Connie at (641) 939-5545 or dbq073s@dbqarch.org.