Antenatal and Postnatal Care
Antenatal care (ANC) helps women to prepare better for the delivery in childbirth, and to understand any warning signs during pregnancy and childbirth. Issues like lack of access to health facilities, resources, and efficient road and transport systems hinder women from getting proper care during and after their pregnancies.
In order to both provide wider access to, and expand the reach of ANC and PNC, Suchana ensures nutrition-specific services are introduced to health facilities at the union level. Mothers and caregivers without access to nutrition services have been introduced to ANC and PNC services.
Ripa Begum lives in Barlekha, Moulvibazar, with her husband and two sons. Undernutrition during Ripa’s eldest son Nahidul Islam’s infancy has had serious negative repercussions on his health, evidenced by his scrawny appearance and overall physical weakness. While pregnant with her second child, Ripa became enrolled as a beneficiary under the Suchana programme. Ripa was worried the second child would suffer the same fate as Nahidul, and that she and her other family members lacked knowledge about nutrition. “We did not know how to properly take care of a baby. During my third month into pregnancy, Mahmuda Begum, a Suchana community mobilizer (SCM), registered me and counselled me to take at least four ANC checkups,” said Ripa. From April 2019 to March 2020, 6,630 pregnant women were given ANC promotional cards as an incentive for ensuring four ANC visits to health facilities.
Raising awareness about ANC and PNC helps identify complications during pregnancy and post-pregnancy. Treatment and preventive measures will reduce maternal and child mortality, and increase the practice of breastfeeding and improve nutrition during pregnancy. Taking the Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI) service, and practicing family planning will help prepare partners and families for the future, and promote a healthy lifestyle for their children.
“It gives me joy when I see my son smiling. He seems to have better health
than my elder son. This happened because I learned good childcare
practices from Suchana.”
Ripa Begum, 20-years-old
Additionally, Ripa was advised to take iron tablets during her pregnancy. Later on, Mahmuda discussed various forms of care during pregnancy with Ripa, including: Additionally, Ripa was advised to take iron tablets during her pregnancy. Later on, Mahmuda discussed various forms of care during pregnancy with Ripa, including:
As part of Ripa’s four ANC check-ups, Mahmuda visits Ripa’s house periodically. Ripa followed all of the instructions given to her, and her husband received these positively as well. As the delivery of Ripa’s second child approached, Mahmuda placed more importance on early initiation of breastfeeding, PNC, and exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of her newborn child’s life.
Ripa’s second child, Shahidul Islam, is now eight months old, and Ripa is breastfeeding him regularly. From attending courtyard meetings arranged by Suchana, Ripa knows has learned different strategies for how to take care of Shahidul, such as when they should both wash their hands. Her elder son, Nahidul, is almost 4 years old, and eating nutritious food.
Suchana staff regularly conducts counselling and courtyard session with pregnant and lactating women (PLW) and their family members to promote Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) and Maternal, Child Health and Nutrition (MCHN) practices.
House CWN (A) 35, Road 43, Gulshan 2, Dhaka 1212