Yesterday, I was in Kawangware where I spent the day with new moms and a few pregnant women. This was at FreMo clinic where every three months, they hold a ‘Mother’s Day’, which is a day to celebrate new moms and those just about to become new moms. What happens is that the women share their experiences and learn from each other. They also receive information from midwives about taking care of their pregnancies, family planning, and how to take care of the newborns. Well, I’m not quite a new mom, but I just enjoy participating in motherhood forums where we can all learn from each other.
We talked about our experiences during antenatal visits, about labor and delivery, and also how we are now taking care of our babies.
Seeing as most of the moms present were new moms, the main discussions revolved around their antenatal clinic experiences, as well as the interesting labor experiences. The pregnant moms got to learn alot from this.
Now, there was this one particular lady called Sylvia whose experience particularly stood out. She talked of the importance for pregnant women, especially first time moms, to take time to understand, beforehand, about the birthing process. This is why:
“When I was in labor with my first child, I went to deliver in this health facility that looked good, but I don’t think it had competent staff. During labor, the nurses attending to me were unsure of what to do, and they kept second-guessing themselves. I didn’t know what to do either, so we were both lost. They were confused and kept asking each other what was supposed to happen next, and I figured they were new to the whole birthing process. I ended up having prolonged labor and I had to go in for a caesarean section which I believe could have been prevented had the nurses known to do during the early stages of labor. My advice is don’t just go to any hospital, go to a hospital that you are sure has qualified personnel. Also make sure you have a fair understanding of the birth process by reading up on it, or talking to fellow mothers who can advice you as they share their experiences,” she said.
The second time round, Sylvia, who just a few weeks ago delivered her second baby was much wiser, and delivered at a hospital where she went on to have a natural delivery (dispelling the myth that once you have a CS, you can’t deliver normally after that). So yesterday she was advising pregnant moms to ensure they attend all their antenatal clinics and during that time, ask all questions they may have about pregnancy and birth. The good thing is that FreMo offers free Lamaze classes to women and their partners in their last trimester (those of us who have done Lamaze classes have paid a pretty penny for this).
The midwives also gave the new moms information about breastfeeding and proper nutrition for themselves and their babies. They also shared about vaccines and routine immunizations for their babies. It also happened to be the day that Rotavirus was being officially launched in Machakos by the First Lady Margaret Kenyatta, and the new moms got to be given this information by the midwives. Most moms had no idea that the Rotavirus vaccine was now being offered for free in all health facilities –both public and private.
So that was my yesterday, a day well spent. The weather by the way was quite chilly, and I salute the moms who turned up for the session. Thankfully, we got served some hot tea and bread which helped take some of the chills away. Plus it was also good to see most of the babies dressed in boshori’s and wrapped in layers of warm blankets.
Have a lovely day.