This is why we are needed

Are you interested in knowing more about what the deal is with Strong Start? How do we know there is even a need? What are women doing now for labor and delivery? Does prenatal care really make that big of a difference in keeping families together?

I’m glad you asked!

This fall, we interviewed 100 people within 5 km around the recovery center to get specific information on just that. Here is what we found:

1. 74 out of 100 women delivering their babies in our area did so at home. Why did they delivery at home? Because cost gave them few other choices.

2. Despite where they have delivered, 1 of the 100 people we asked recommended someone delivering their baby at home. Let’s say that a different way. 99 out of 100 people wanted to deliver at a hospital or clinic.

3. 8 out of 100 people said that they had an ultrasound with their last baby. Even just ONE ultrasound. Can you imagine?

4. Less than half said that they had used family planning in the last 6 months. Any type of family planning at all.

5. 38 out of 100 people reported losing at least one child. Of these 38 people, 13 of them said that they have lost 2 or more children.

5. 14 out of 100 people know someone personally who had died during pregnancy or delivery. That means, if we had a party with 20 people there, 3 of them know a friend, neighbor, or family member who died during pregnancy or delivery.

So what does this mean? Why is prenatal and delivery care important in breaking the cycle of malnutrition? We are learning that the most formative years for a child are the first 1,000 days of life. Intervening and ensuring good prenatal care, delivery care, nutritional support, vitamins, and treating any sicknesses or health issues gives a child the foundation for success from Day 1.

We at SMH desire to see healthy pregnant women safely deliver their children. We want these families to know how to care for their infants. And we want families to have control over the size of their family, helping break the cycle of poverty through family planning.

Are you in?

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Contributed by Grace Greene, Second Mile Haiti - Research and Development