From a woman's pregnancy to her child's 2nd birthday there are 1,000 days. This time is important for setting the foundations for the rest of life. The support and education a mother receives during the 1,000 days can have a very real impact on the care she gives, influencing how her child grows and develops. RED International's partners have projects in different countries offering education, support and services to mothers and fathers so that they are well prepared.
Many expectant and new mothers do not have access to antenatal or postnatal care. This may be because it's unavailable or a long distance away. Additionally, women may be unaware of care options or feel they can't attend because of social or caste status. Without correct support, women are unaware of how to properly care for themselves or their new-born. This significantly increases the risk of maternal and infant mortality. Having a poor start in early life has lasting effects into later life.
Our partners communicate vital antenatal and postnatal education directly with women who otherwise would not have access to this essential information. Topics covered include pregnancy, nutrition, child birth and care of the new-born. In India, Community Health Workers are helping improve access to health care for Dalit and low caste communities through education. In Afghanistan, we support the Birth Life-Saving Skills (BLiSS) health education program which teaches illiterate pregnant women.
Receiving the right support during the initial 1,000 days can save lives and enable children to reach their full potential. Empowering pregnant women and mothers with correct knowledge on how to care for themselves during pregnancy and their new-born will reduce maternal and infant mortality rates, impacting generations, enabling nations to prosper.
Link to Operation Mercy Afghanistan BLiSS project
Link to thousand days network website
The Power of The First 1,000 days - Infographic
Link to WHO fact sheet on Maternal Mortality