Supporting Mothers of Pre-Term Babies: Pumwani Maternity Hospital Abandonment Prevention Program

Better Care Network

Giving birth to a pre-term or low birth weight baby, or a child with a congenital condition, can be a challenging and traumatizing experience, particularly for women from marginalised or low socio-economic backgrounds. It can increase the challenges of caring for a newborn baby, erode a new mother’s confidence and, as such, affect attachment. It can also result in stigma, shame and rejection from extended family, and therefore increase the risk of child abandonment. 

In this video, Grace Mwangi discusses the specific support needs of mothers of pre-term babies or those with a congenital condition. Drawing on her extensive experience of abandonment prevention and family strengthening work in Kenya, Grace highlights the implications of the combination of shock, stigma, social isolation and rejection and the specific developmental challenges of a pre-term baby on attachment and survival. Furthermore, Grace provides key insights into how to provide holistic early intervention support to new mothers of pre-term babies. She focuses on how to help women come to terms with their situation and counter stigma and discrimination in order to promote the value of caring for a pre-term child. She also explains the importance of assisting mothers to recognise the cues of pre-term infants and provide responsive care to promote optimal development and survival. 

This video is part of a series of practitioner learning videos from Kenya.

For more practitioner learning videos, watch our Cambodia and Uganda series.