The following first appeared on The Huffington Post.
Like most moms, I love remembering my children’s firsts. Their first steps, first words, first day at school. But, one first I didn’t realize was a milestone at the time was the day each of my kids completed the first month of life.
I later learned that, around the world, that first month is the most dangerous time of a child’s life. Infections, premature births and childbirth complications are the leading causes of newborn deaths, but they are highly preventable through basic health care, such as antibiotics, breastfeeding support and improved hygiene.
Still, every year, more than 3 million babies die before they turn one month old. Thankfully, that number is dropping, but not nearly as fast as more successful efforts to end deaths to older children and mothers.