*Disclosure: I was not paid for this post, sharing because I believe it’s a good cause*
Think Parenting is Hard? Imagine Being a New Mum in Rural Kenya
I think pretty much every parent is in agreement that parenting is hard. Amazing, but hard. It’s not only the arrival of a bundle of joy who seeks to steal any sleep you ever wanted, the constant changing of dirty nappies and the difficulty of trying to breastfeed, or not, whatever your choice may be. Are they sick, are they ok, will they ever sleep, are they sleeping too much? Should their nappies look like that?
Now, stop a minute and think what it must be like to be a new parent in Kenya. Where 1 in 26 babies die before they reach their first birthday. We take for granted the health visitors who visit us in our homes, the doctors and health professionals at the end of a phone or just down the road from us. Yes, there are frustrations and the NHS isn’t perfect, but it is there and free for us to use whenever we are worried about our health or our children’s health.
So many Mums in Kenya lack the education they need to keep their babies safe. For example they think they should wean their babies from breastmilk as soon as possible onto water, even though a lot of the water is unsafe.
I remember when I began to breastfeed my first child, just how painful it was. The positioning was wrong, my nipples cracked and I ended up with a bacterial infection in my nipples. I had to see the GP for antibiotics and had to pump for a week in order to clear up the infection. I never had to consider what life might be like if the nearest medical treatment was a two days walk away.
When each of all three of my children were born there were times I pretty much lived on Google, checking if things were normal, was my baby was feeding properly, if their nappies were ok. I was lucky enough to have my Mum on hand or at the end of a phone for anything I was unsure of, but it must be so isolating and frightening to not know these things and not have the resources.
One in 26 babies dying is a devastating number. That number is approximately ten times higher than it is in the UK. How heartbreaking it must be for the mothers, who like all of us are just trying their best.
Mothers lack support, education and medical aid they need in Kenya, which is where Team Mum comes in. As part of Child.org they are running a campaign to get Kenyan mothers the support they need. Team Mum will launch pregnancy support groups – arming new mums in Kenya with vital health information and support. There’s never been a better time to join Team Mum.
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