Rita is a young mother who lives in Phule Nagar community. She visited FMCH during her second trimester of pregnancy, after being identified by the FMCH Field Officers during their field visits. She moved to her village for her delivery but returned to Mumbai with her newborn. The FMCH team spent a lot of time with Rita once she was back.We made repeated home visits, counseled her several times to explain the importance of our First 1000 days program. But all this didn’t quite work. Rita was skeptical about the program and wasn’t sure if she really needed the support.
The FMCH team then decided to introduce Rita to another mother, who has been a regular participant of all FMCH programs. She shared her experience with the FMCH team, and what she felt was benefiting her by joining the 1000 Days’ program.
Rita was partially convinced and agreed to come to the community center for one week, provided she and her child benefited. The FMCH team counseled her on breastfeeding, and her own care during lactation. We focused on her nutrition intake and ensuring she is taking care of both herself and her child. Very soon we found Rita to be a regular at all FMCh activities. In her words – “I didn’t know anything about health and nutrition and for my older children I had to run a lot to hospital and ended up spending a lot of money. I didn’t believe what I was doing for my child was wrong as I was following village remedies. After I visited FMCH for a week and saw changes in the child’s weight, my husband and I started trusting them. After coming to FMCH, I gained information and stopped giving gripe water and other things to my child. Now that I see changes I tell other women from the community, they refuse but I still continue to visit FMCH as prevention helped to fewer hospital visits and save money”.