Material and moral support are vital for every pregnant woman. Whether the support is from the baby’s father, house help, relative or anyone within reach, it is of paramount importance that this service be availed during pregnancy, labour and taking care of the new born.
Though pregnancy usually brings with it euphoria and in most cases celebrations among married couples as they become expectant of finally having their bundle of joy, it can be an emotional rollercoaster.
And, for some women, it can feel like the longest nine months of their lives. On the other hand, caring for a new born baby can be exhausting and takes its toll on relationships.
Helping to meet the new mum’s physical and mental health needs is important for the health of the woman, the new born baby and your relationship.
The Founder of Mommyz Pride Tanzania, Modester Msemwa, has recently launched an online campaign to support expectant and breastfeeding mothers who live in vulnerable conditions.
The campaign dubbed ‘Cheko la Mama’ literally meaning ‘mother’s smile’ will provide support such as delivery packs, breastfeeding skills, nutrition and coaching in life skills.
Modester, a mother of one, revealed that the idea was conceived based on her line of work which saw her realise that some women cannot afford to buy delivery kits that will ensure safe delivery and good health.
“We have identified that maternal mortality is a major issue for women, especially those living in vulnerable conditions, because they cannot afford delivery kits. So through this campaign, we will distribute the vital kits and also support those who are breastfeeding,” she said.
She explained that the campaign will be sustained beyond 2019 and the Foundation will embark on other programmes meant to support women such as insurance and various trainings in course of the year.
She called upon individuals and other organisations to partner the organisation for wider coverage and saving more lives.
According to her, the project was initiated based on the belief that a balanced world is a better world and therefore, women must have good health for them to contribute in towards development.
Modester said that currently, the Foundation does not get any financial support or sponsorship from any organisation for the project but receive a range of items, they distribute to help new born babies, from well-wishers they get online.
“We are running this campaign on Instagram in which we are asking people to donate used baby items. Perhaps you have piles of new or barely used items that were given as a gift that your child grew out too soon or that simply didn’t fit your lifestyle,” she said.
She added that when a baby comes into this world, it unfortunately doesn’t come with a suitcase full of everything it will need.
“I call upon people to donate baby items to help new parents provide a warm, properly equipped home for the newest addition to their family,” she said.
The organisation receives a number of items including towels, washcloths, baby bathtubs, bibs, diaper bags and backpacks, just but to mention a few.
Expounding further she said breastfeeding gives children the healthiest start in life and is one of the simplest, smartest and most cost-effective ways we have of ensuring that all children survive and thrive.
“There are also millions of women who face greater barriers to breastfeeding; they need strong family and community support to manage the demands of providing for their families and breastfeeding their babies,” said Modester.
She said that providing support was the right thing to do for both the baby and the mother; breastfeeding prevents infant death, childhood illnesses and non-communicable diseases, while supporting brain development and promoting maternal health.
According to UNICEF, virtually every mother can breastfeed, if given appropriate support, advice and encouragement, as well as practical assistance to resolve any problem.
Studies have shown that early skin to skin contact between mothers and babies, frequent and unrestricted breast feeding to ensure continued production of milk and help with positioning and attaching the baby increases the chances of breast feeding being successful.
She said as their focus is also on parenting, they will provide entrepreneurship training to mothers for them to be able to raise their kids well.