Birth-Certified was created by five senior nursing students and one junior designer, Marisa Purdy, in the fall of 2016. In developing countries, it can be difficult for a mother in labor to get to a hospital on time, resulting in high rates of maternal and infant mortality. The goal of Birth-Certified is to solve this problem by establishing “Birth-Certification” classes in local medical centers in order to educate pregnant women and the people in their community on how to perform a safe, emergency-only, at-home delivery. Thanks to First Steps at UD, we were awarded funding for our project and, during the summer of 2017, we began implementing Birth-Certified classes in Rwanda. In 2018, we expanded the project to Tanzania and Nigeria in addition to Rwanda. We continue to change and adapt the project as needed to fit the needs of each country.


My job was to brand Birth-Certified and to construct and illustrate the educational materials used to aid the medical workers and expecting mothers during and after these birthing classes.


Due to language barriers and the high rates of illiteracy that exist in countries such as Rwanda, the solution to nearly every aspect of this project was to effectively communicate the intricacies of childbirth without relying too heavily on the use of written language.


I created a logo design that uses the initials “BC” to resemble a pregnant woman’s belly, which speaks to the audience of the project, expecting mothers, while creating a message of delicacy and beauty.


This is the design for the presentation poster, which we displayed at the First-Steps conference in order to educate the judges and fellow groups about our project in order to gain funding.


The educational packets are meant for the medical workers in Africa to use as a course outline and guide to teaching the birthing classes to expecting mothers and community members. Over the last several years, we have expanded and translated the material into multiple languages including Kinyarwanda, Swahili, and Hausa.


One of the most important elements of the project is the Birth-Certified handout, which contains all of the most critical information from the classes with detailed illustrations of prenatal, childbirth, and postpartum instructions for expecting mothers to take home with them as a reminder and guide in the case that an emergency at-home delivery is necessary. In order to fit and organize as much information as possible, these handouts are designed as tri-folds that fold out to an 11x17 poster. I also designed a ruler, in centimeters, for the mother to track the fundal height and growth of the fetus, which is built right into the side of the poster for safe-keeping. The handouts and are also laminated to protect the document from being damaged or burned for fuel.


These are some photos one of the student nurses took from the very first Birth-Certified Class in Rwanda during the summer of 2017, which show some of the mothers and medical workers holding the very first iterations of our project.