The Hand That Rocks The Cradle
The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world. This poem by William Ross Wallace highlights the importance and potential of a mother. A community of support to today’s mothers is one of the best gifts we can give the next generation. When a mother is encouraged and strengthened, she can more easily see the beauty of her calling. She becomes the best parent she can be.
I know when I had my babies, there’s no way we could have managed the prenatals and deliveries and recovery periods without our community there to help. We had babysitters spend the night when Baby arrived, meals delivered during the immediate recovery, and texts of encouragement- this is how my own community showed God’s love and placed value on this new life He had entrusted to us.
African women have an amazing community in so many areas. This is one of the things that I love about Zambia! I have noticed them carrying each other’s babies on their backs in their colorful chitenges, and it’s quite common to see several of these women gathered together visiting and sharing chores on any given day.
But a problem we see far too often in the village is women being denied medical care at the time of delivery because they don’t have the resources to purchase the clinic’s required items.
You see, Zambia has socialized medical, meaning the delivery at the clinic is free of charge. But it also means that anything not nailed down inside the clinic is the expectant mother’s responsibility to provide. When she is in labor and comes to check-in to the clinic, she must be carrying a parcel that includes a 5 gallon bucket, bleach, razors, bar soap, baby powder, pads, nappies, sutures, a 2 meter plastic sheet, and a baby bath. If the mama can’t provide these items, she is not eligible for the clinic’s services.
For a family working a small farm hours away from town, living on last year’s harvest and the generosity of neighbors, this is a big shopping list. Often it’s unattainable, and the women and their soon-to-be-born-babies bear the brunt of that financial lack. Rather than being a time of support and rejoicing, birth is marked by long hours of loneliness, fear, and- too often- heartbreak.
This is where Baby Baskets come in! For about the cost of a pepperoni and cheese pizza, these women can be gifted with the products they need to secure a midwife attended delivery.
In addition to providing these women and babies with the best care possible, each registered mother with the Baby Basket Program attends a 3 hour session that covers topics ranging from postpartum health to newborn care, and ends with their need for the Gospel.
It’s our desire that this exciting moment in a new mother’s life can also be a time where she feels supported and finds a place in a local, gospel centered community. The first step in reaching the next generation for Christ is to strengthen the hand that rocks their cradles.