Emily Brook

Highly Commended

Discipline
Product & Structural Design

Year of study
3rd Year

University
Leeds Beckett University

In the 24 hours after childbirth, mothers lose around 500ml of blood. This amount gradually becomes less over a period of up to six weeks. In the UK, women are given disposable maternity towels that can be discarded every few hours.

In Gambia, women use rags. These thin pieces of cloth are unabsorbant and must be changed extremely regularly.

The reusable maternity kit provides mothers in Gambia with a safe, sustainable and comfortable solution for managing after birth bleeding. The kit includes four reusable maternity towels, two pairs of cotton underwear and a set of instructions.

The towels are made of three different fabrics. A soft cotton layer for comfort and support, two layers of Terry towel for absorbency and a laminated layer of fabric, PUL, to stop any leakage of blood. Being secured with plastic press studs, they remain in place during everyday movement. They can be washed with soap and cold water, and turned inside out to ensure they are washed thoroughly.