World Voice: The Evolution of and Me

World Voice: The Evolution of and Me

When I began in 2012, it was very important to me that the organization succeed.  I wanted so much to help other mothers give birth safely.  I also craved a project of my own that was unrelated to being a mother or wife.

I can remember worrying in the first year that the Clean Birth Kits wouldn’t be well received or that my partner organization in Laos, ACD-Laos, wouldn’t do their part to ensure success.

In the first 2 years, I worked endlessly with ACD-Laos and traveled to Laos twice per year.  Back at home, I went to conferences, Tweeted and posted on Facebook non-stop, and sought connections and fundraising opportunities everywhere.

There was so much of me in the organization in that early period.  I needed the moms in Laos to give me a purpose, as much as they needed me.

Yet, the more I traveled to Laos, the more I understood that the only agents for real change in birth practices are local nurses.  With common language and traditions, these nurses are uniquely effective at conveying knowledge about safe birth.

With the goal of empowering local nurses, my partners at ACD-Laos and I spent time in 2014 establishing mutually-agreed up Monitoring and Evaluation procedures.   With these clear objectives and methods of tracking funds, the way was cleared for my partners at ACD-Laos to take ownership of day-to-day activities.

In 2016, when they began conducting training without me and then requested to expand to more clinics and a hospital, it was clear that ACD-Laos and the nurses were invested and in charge.It was also clear that my role had changed.

Just as the organization had evolved, so had I.  With an international move and growing kids, I no longer needed to be my purpose. 

While the need is gone, my commitment is stronger than ever.  I am so proud to be part of the team we’ve created: the nurses, ACD-Laos, and our supporters.  Year after year we make birth safe for an increasingly large number of women in Laos.

World Moms Network has supported since the beginning.  We need your help in the next 2 weeks,as we raise our largest amount ever $20,000.

Please give now if you can:

Kristyn Zalota

Kristyn brings her years of experience as an entrepreneur and serial volunteer to She holds a MA, has run small businesses in Russia and the US, and has volunteered in Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Uganda on projects related to women’s empowerment. After having children, Kristyn became an advocate for mothers in the US, as a doula and Lamaze educator, and abroad, as the Founder of She is honored to provide nurses in Laos with the supplies, funding and training they need to lower maternal and infant mortality rates in their villages.

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PHILIPPINES: How Childbirth Can Change Your Life

PHILIPPINES: How Childbirth Can Change Your Life

WMB MKB graphic 500

The initial signs of labor — you already know them by now, if you’re a non-first-time mom like me. You know what to do and what to expect so you stay calm and maybe even continue going about the usual events of your day.

Then labor progresses and you feel that it might be a good idea to get to the hospital or clinic or birthing center or wherever it is you’ve decided to give birth. For those who choose home birth, you don’t even have to leave your home.

You let the process of labor continue naturally and try to remember to take deep breaths. You focus on the beauty of childbirth, the miracle that is taking place right this very minute inside your body.

You think of the life that you’re bringing into the world — a whole new being, separate from you yet very much a part of you. This baby — your baby — will be a part of your heart and mind for a very long time, until you are called to leave this world for good.

It may be a cliché but it is oh so true: being pregnant, giving birth, becoming a mother… all of it changes you. When you are finally able to push your baby out (or he or she is taken out of you if you deliver via caesarean section), you marvel at how this tiny, wailing little person can bring about different emotions in you all at the same time.

The strongest response of all?


An overflowing gush of love for your baby. Most likely every mother has felt it, whether she’s given birth for the first time or the fifth time. This is my child, my precious child, and oh how I love her! I would do anything for her!

And that’s the beauty of childbirth, my friends. It allows us to see beyond ourselves. It reminds us of the importance of living for others, especially the child who has been “given” to us for a special purpose.

As a mother of three, I can testify to how the birth of each of my children, and the events afterwards, profoundly changed me. Each birth, each child, each situation is unique and I know I am blessed and have learned a lot from all my experiences combined.

My children were born in different countries — two were born in the national hospital of Timor Leste (East Timor) and one was born here in the Philippines. They each have memorable birth stories. I rejoice because despite the challenges my husband and I faced after each of our kids were born, all three of them are healthy and happy now.

Sadly, this isn’t the case for many mothers all over the world. Thousands of moms have lost their children to infection and disease. In their case, childbirth did change them but not in the way they imagined it to.

But what if you and I could help make childbirth a more positive and safe experience for mothers? What if we could help women see the beauty of it all, so that they could really say “Childbirth has changed me for the better”?

Well, you know what? We can certainly do so through organizations like, which aims to help provide clean birth kits, and train nurses and volunteers about maternal health. We can also just “be there” for a fellow mom who needs extra support pre, during and post childbirth (especially post childbirth!). We can do simple things like ask how she’s doing, or offer to watch the baby so she can take that shower she’s been longing to have, or maybe even just say, “Hey, I’m praying for you. You and your baby are in my thoughts.”

We can do all of these because, at the end of the day, I believe that of all the changes childbirth can bring about in your life, this one could be the most profound:

Once you become a mother — whether or not your child lives or dies — you’ll forever be connected to other mothers.

And that, to me, is a beautiful thing indeed.

To support safer births for the mothers of Laos in Asia, you can donate to, share this post, and/or join in the Twitter conversation on maternal health tomorrow, February 6th with World Moms Blog, Multicultural Kid Blogs and Girls Globe from 1-2pm EST.

Cleanbirth Donation Button

This is an original post by Tina Santiago-Rodriquez of the Philippines of “Truly Rich Mom”. 

Photo credit to

Tina Santiago-Rodriguez (Philippines)

Tina Santiago-Rodriguez is a wife and homeschool mom by vocation, a licensed physical therapist by education and currently the managing editor of Mustard, a Catholic children's magazine published by Shepherd's Voice Publications in the Philippines, by profession. She has been writing passionately since her primary school years in Brunei, and contributes regularly to several Philippine and foreign-based online and print publications. She also does sideline editing and scriptwriting jobs, when she has the time. Find out more about Tina through her personal blogs: Truly Rich Mom and Teacher Mama Tina.

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$5 Saves Lives with, Multicultural Kids Blogs & Girls Globe!

$5 Saves Lives with, Multicultural Kids Blogs & Girls Globe!

Over a year ago, World Mom, Nicole Melancon of Thirdeyemom, introduced me to Kristyn Zalota, an American mom who was dedicating her time to help save the lives of mothers in Laos.  I’m embarassed to admit, I wasn’t exactly sure where Laos was.  (It’s next to Vietnam.) I also didn’t know that the country has one of the highest rates of maternal mortality on the globe.

#CleanBirth Twitter Party!

Kristyn has introduced our staff and community to both, the mothers who she has met in Laos and the nurse midwives who she has trained through the organization she founded, Last year, World Moms Blog helped her raise over $700 to provide clean birth kits to the moms who needed them most.  It was such a fun, fantastic global moment for our contributors. We changed our Facebook profile pictures to the Cleanbirth logo, and we Facebooked and tweeted our hearts out! But that’s not all…

Since that time, World Moms Blog was the conduit that brought Kristyn Zalota and Dee Harlow, our contributor in Laos, together.  Dee started volunteering for and helped the organization secure a $2000 loan, and she also wrote about maternal health in Laos during our #Moms4MDGs campaign on the Every Mother Counts website. In fact, here is a photo of Dee and Kristyn in Laos advocating for maternal health with the US Ambassador to Vientiane!

US Embassy Vientiane &

This year we are back and excited as ever, to lend our hearts and our social media voices to help kick off their 1st month of fundraising in 2014!  But, we also have fantastic news — we are not alone!

Two equally awesome organizations — Multicultural Kid Blogs and Girls Globe — will be joining us!  Together, our three sites will be synergizing our social media power together and rallying our communities and readers to help in their campaign to raise $7500 this February, which is earmarked for the much-needed training of 10 nurses, 25 volunteers and 500 birth kits.

Inspired by World Mom, Kristyn Zalota’s, enthusiasm to do more than her fair share to help our fellow moms on the planet,  World Moms Blog is happy to join Multicultural Kid Blogs, Girls Globe and all of our combined contributors participating in making some noise for safe births for the mothers in Laos.

How can you join in?  Share this post.  Donate.  Join the Twitter Party on Thursday, February 6, 2014 at 1pm EST! Hashtag is #Cleanbirth.  

Just $5 USD goes a long way — it buys a birth kit which includes sanitized necessities and the cost of travel for the nurse midwife to attend a birth. Kristyn has launched something amazing that saves lives and empowers women.

  • For just $5 you can provide a life saving Clean Birth Kit
  • For $100 you can train a Village Volunteer who serves her village
  • For $250 you can sponsor a nurse who serves as many as 10 villages

See more at:

If everyone who reads this post just donated $5, we could make a very large difference in the life of our fellow World Moms in Laos.  For almost the equivalent of a cup of fancy coffee, we can have a feel good, mother earth kind of day together.

Cleanbirth Donation Button


I hope you will join us and help us spread the word!

This is an original post to World Moms Blog by Founder, Jennifer Burden in New Jersey, USA. 

Photo credits to and Dee Harlow.

Jennifer Burden

Jennifer Burden is the Founder and CEO of World Moms Network, an award winning website on global motherhood, culture, human rights and social good. World Moms Network writes from over 30 countries, has over 70 contributors and was listed by Forbes as one of the “Best 100 Websites for Women”, named a “must read” by The New York Times, and was recommended by The Times of India. She was also invited to Uganda to view UNICEF’s family health programs with Shot@Life and was previously named a “Global Influencer Fellow” and “Social Media Fellow” by the UN Foundation. Jennifer was invited to the White House twice, including as a nominated "Changemaker" for the State of the World Women Summit. She also participated in the One Campaign’s first AYA Summit on the topic of women and girl empowerment and organized and spoke on an international panel at the World Bank in Washington, DC on the importance of a universal education for all girls. Her writing has been featured by Baby Center, Huffington Post,, the UN Foundation’s Shot@Life, and The Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists.” She is currently a candidate in Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs in the Executive Masters of Public Affairs program, where she hopes to further her study of global policies affecting women and girls. Jennifer can be found on Twitter @JenniferBurden.

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