Mother’s Day 2017: What To Expect When You’re Expecting (In Nepal)
Mar 24, 2017
Happy Mother’s Day! It’s a day to treat mothers and celebrate them – and a day for us all to remember what a vital role they play in our lives, and wider society. The build up to becoming a mother can be unnerving, and for some women, very dangerous. That’s why we work in Nepal – to help expectant and new mothers who need it most. Hannah reports from her recent trip there.
“By establishing Women’s Health Groups in rural Nepal, we are supporting women in villages increase their health literacy skills and their awareness of maternal and child health issues. Feed the Minds and our local partner Education and Training Services for the Community designed the project which is now being implemented. I just got back from Nepal, where I visited the project and meet some of the women involved. It was incredible to sit with these women and learn about what is like to be an expectant mother in Nepal and how the project has positively impacted and empowered them. Here is what some of the women had to say:”
Anuja Praza, aged 20
I am currently 8 months pregnant. This is my second pregnancy but my first ended in miscarriage. Through the Women’s Health Group I have learnt the importance of the antenatal check up schedule and where to go for it. So far, I have attended two sessions but for my first pregnancy I did not attend any because my husband worked away and I was too shy to attend alone. I did not have any guidance from my family and had very poor knowledge of pregnancy so did not look after my health. Since joining the Women’s Health Group and attending the health literacy classes, I have become very conscious of my health and my baby’s health. My husband has joined the local Men’s Support Group set up by Community Health First and he is now very supportive. He encourages me to attend my antenatal check ups and monitors my health. He also encouraged me to attend our local health clinic for an ultrasound so we could learn the due date and plan the actual birth itself. As my husband and I are very poor, the Women’s Health Group have pledged to support us financially using the revolving funds so that I can have an institutional delivery and give my baby the best chance of survival.
Kamala Moklan, aged 20
My first baby is due any day now and I am very excited to become a mother. I have learnt so much about how to look after my health during pregnancy from attending health literacy classes with my Women’s Health Group. I have completed all 4 of my antenatal visits and had two TD vaccines. I am also regularly taking iron tablets to reduce the risk of anaemia. Before in my village women used to throw their iron tablets away because we did not know why they were important but now we know. My husband and I have been doing final preparations to ensure we are ready for when I go into labour; we have saved 30,000 rupees for an institutional delivery, we have the ambulance number with us at all times and have written down my blood details and from whom to take blood in case of an emergency. I have also been saving nutritious foods and clothes for my baby and me after I have given birth. From the Men’s Support Group, my husband has learnt lots about the importance of maternal health. He has been helping me with household work, carrying heavy items and bringing me food and water and he also took me to the hospital in Hetauda when I experienced a problem.
Srijana Adhikari, aged 23
I am 7 months pregnant with my first baby. I have really enjoyed the health literacy classes and being part of the Women’s Health Group. It has helped me to learn so much about pregnancy like how you should go to hospital if you experience any danger signs such as headache, fever and oedema. Before classes, my parent would always say these things were common and that I should not worry but now I know that if I am concerned about a problem, I can seek attention for it. Recently, I experienced bleeding and told my mother in law and my husband. My mother in law said not to worry but my husband, who is part of the Men’s Support Group, recognised it as a danger sign from the lessons he had learnt and he took me straight to hospital. He is also helping me in the house, monitoring my health and encouraging a nutritious diet. Since I told our family about the importance of birth preparedness, they are also helping us get ready for the delivery.
Feed the Minds wishes all these women a very safe birth and all the best for their first steps into the wonderful journey of motherhood. Happy Mother’s Day!