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Ruth Jackson received funding from the Australian government's, Australian Development Research Award Scheme (ADRAS), under an award titled, Improving the use of maternal, neonatal and child health services in rural and pastoralist Ethiopia, AusAID Agreement 66420. But one of the big challenges for women is referring them for help from one facility to the next level. As more and more health facilities have been built in the past few years, more and more women walk to attend antenatal care clinics and to have a skilled birth attendant deliver their baby.
But it’s impossible to think about maternal health without thinking about the time and distance between where women live in rural kebeles and where the government constructs health facilities: health posts, health centres and hospitals. There is a health post in each of the kebeles or neighbourhoods, which serves around 5 000 people.
One day in 2007, after hours of walking to interview women in their homes, we met an extended family who invited us into their home. As squawking chickens ran about and a baby cried, a woman called Birke told me how she had been in labour for three or four days in Sherada in a rural part of Kafa Zone.
Finally, Birke was taken to Jimma Hospital (three to five hours drive away) where the dead baby was removed by caesarean section. Eight years later and on a different research project, I was able to hire a car to visit health facilities and health extension workers in three different regions in Ethiopia. Health extension workers are community health workers selected from the rural areas they come from. Throughout my research, as I’ve waited for the rain to stop or for the bus to leave, while I waited for hours in the queue at the hospital with friends, or outside an office for an interview, I’ve often felt that waiting was so normalised that it seemed opaque. You’ll probably get lots of needed items at a baby shower hosted by a friend or a relative. Sign up for Amazon Mom (you may have to be on the waiting list for a while) to save up to 30% on Subscribe and Save items such as diapers and wipes.
I found a great high chair reduced to $20 (shipped!) from the original price of over $80 by diligently perusing Dealnews. Disposable diapers are expensive — your baby will probably go through at least $2,500 to $3,000 worth of diapers before he or she is potty-trained. The thought of putting your baby in another child’s poopy pants might gross you out, but in reality, used clothing stores often carry barely used baby clothing, since babies outgrow their clothes so quickly.
Although you shouldn’t buy items like car seats, strollers, and cribs secondhand because of safety issues, garage sales and thrift stores are a great source for gently used toys and nursery gear (for example, rocker-gliders are great items to get secondhand).
Make some lasagnas, casseroles, soups, and banana bread to stock in the freezer before you go into labor.
See if you can get clothing, bottles, and other necessities from friends who have had babies. Save manufacturer’s coupons (which often come in magazines or on diaper packaging) and combine them with store coupons for extra savings. Bedding sets used to be extremely popular and ran into the hundreds, sometimes thousands, of dollars. The Internet is a great resource for printable art for baby’s nursery, such as these adorable illustrated alphabet cards. Exchange toys and books periodically with other parents to keep your entertainment stash fresh and interesting for your child without having to buy anything. Frugal parents, do you have any advice to share on having a baby without blowing your budget? The items that were not usable were turned into Babies 'R' Us last week during their trade in sale.
Well, even $700 is a lot less than the disposable route, which is the point I think they were trying to make.
I have boys six years apart, so I had to start over with just about everything, and you learn a lot the second time around. I am planning on having a baby in 2013-2014 but I am already gathering tips about managing to stay on track financially after having a baby, thanks for those! Babies can be so costly because a lot of people what to spend top dollar on everything for baby. Actually, doctors recommend breastfeeding beyond one year and preferably two or more years. If I remember correctly (I'm not a pediatrician either), our babies need more calories at about 1 year than breastmilk can give them, so based on their normal growth and development, that is the change that happens at about one year.


This only proves that everyone who wants to have a baby must be prepared physically and financially. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. We use a Creative Commons Attribution NoDerivatives licence, so you can republish our articles for free, online or in print. In my 10 years conducting research on maternal health, I’ve seen a big push to build more health facilities and to provide ambulances to transport pregnant women to these facilities.
Aside from the facilities being very far apart, in some places there are no roads and limited transportation. My doctoral research took place in the rural neighbourhoods (kebeles) in Kafa Zone in southwest Ethiopia. There was no nurse and no road so she was carried by stretcher for five hours to the road at Gojeb.
The baby died but they didn’t remove it as she needed a blood transfusion which could not be done at the hospital.
Birke left her husband because of ongoing ill health and now lives with her elderly mother and other relatives in Sheyka. They provide a range of services including family planning, antenatal care, and other services that aim to halt and reverse the spread of major communicable diseases.
We’re looking for autobiographical, ethnographic, reflective accounts grounded in theory or a combination of approaches. Some health extension workers are separated from their families and some are unable to move. There is new furniture to buy and important decisions to make on diapering, nursing, and more.
Cloth diapers will cost you much less, especially if you have a high-efficiency washing machine and line-dry your clothing.
Use soft washcloths or cut-up receiving blankets, dampen with a solution of water with a tiny bit of baby shampoo, and wipe, wipe, wipe! Once Upon a Child is one used clothing store that specifically stocks baby and children’s clothing that is in good condition. Friends and family will love to help out (and perhaps catch a glimpse of the baby), and you’ll get a free meal, which may help to preserve your sanity in those first few weeks. Instead of a fancy diaper disposal system, just use a lidded garbage can and sprinkle with baking soda to keep odors down. Avoid, however, using a secondhand car seat or a crib that’s more than a few years old.
Before going shopping, do a quick search on the Internet for a printable manufacturer’s coupon. They included matching quilts, sheets, bumpers, crib skirts, window valances, and pretty much anything you could think of. If you spend money on child care, get a receipt and look into claiming the Federal Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit.
You can also repurpose shower decorations for baby’s room and frame some of those cute baby cards.
You can control all the ingredients and don’t have to be concerned about BPA (sometimes found in the plastic lining of baby food jars), high levels of arsenic (recently found in baby rice cereal), and preservatives.
For example, signing up on the Pampers website will get you a sample package from Proctor and Gamble, Pampers’ parent company, as well as $101 worth of coupons. I have a lot of family and friends who have had children in the past few years and are not planning on having any more. Since we needed to get rid of the items anyway, we got 25% off new items in the store (which was on par with online pricing for the same item). It looked at maternal health and how the goal of reducing maternal mortality fits into Ethiopia’s development agenda.
Her husband went home, sold their ox and borrowed extra money for her treatment and the cost of transportation and walked back to the hospital. And in Deckia the knee-deep mud is on a 50-degree angle and even the mules struggle to find their way. But most importantly, they try to encourage women to give birth in health centres rather than at home.


It also seems that as soon as you get pregnant, you get bombarded with advice and marketing on what baby gadget to buy. Get on the email list to stay up to date (you may wish to set up a separate email just for coupons and offers). Cloth wipes are gentler on baby’s bottom and can be tossed in the laundry along with the cloth diapers. Past season brand-name baby sleepers, deeply discounted play yards, safety gates, toys, books, and other useful items can be picked up for a fraction of the price. A convertible car seat may cost slightly more than an infant car seat, but your child won’t outgrow it as fast. Skip the changing table and use a sturdy low dresser bought on Craigslist or IKEA that can double as storage (just be sure to avoid really old secondhand items that may have lead paint).
Safety standards for those two items are revised every year, and an older one may compromise your baby’s safety.
Just mash up an avocado, a banana, a steamed carrot, or another whole food, and you’re good to go.
Again, I recommend setting up a separate email account for coupons and offers so your personal inbox doesn’t get too cluttered. If you buy plain old prefolds and covers for them, you can get enough diapers to last for 3-4 days for well under $200. Still, at the end of the day, just seeing your child's smile could lessen the stress you carry.
Health extension workers can now refer women in labour or prior to labour to health centres by ambulance. Although having a baby will likely never be free, there are some ways to pare down your expenses. Breast pumps can get expensive, but there are mid-range electric pumps (such as Ameda Purely Yours and Phillips AVENT Twin Breast Pump) that offer great value when compared to the top-of-the-line Medela pump, and will still cost you far less than buying formula. Some kitchen booster seats can be used instead of a highchair even when your child is younger. Along the same lines, trade and request free baby clothing from websites like Freecycle.org. The American Academy of Pediatrics warns parents that crib bumpers are not safe — in fact, all you should have in the crib is a firm mattress and a crib sheet. Also, before you leave the hospital, ask the nurses if they have any free samples you can use, and ask your pediatrician for free samples as well. I promise you, the "baby" washcloths won't serve your baby better than soft, cotton washcloths. We spent $110, and those diapers were all we needed until recently (when the adjustable one-size diaper covers became too small for my chunky 14-month-old). After all, people have been having babies for thousands of years without most of the fancy baby gear that is available to us now.
People are happy to get together to celebrate your little one and help you out with a few gifts. And don’t forget to get gender-neutral items if you’re planning to have another child! Pillows and thick quilts are also not recommended for use in the crib because of the suffocation hazard they pose. We've managed to save hundreds and hundreds of dollars on items like cribs, swings, and clothing. If you have a lot of out-of-town friends, be sure your registry offers online ordering and reasonable shipping prices (an Amazon baby registry might be a good idea).
If we had gotten 3 dozen all-in-one diapers at $17-20 a piece, we would've spent well over $700.



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