Importance of Maternal Nutrition as part of ECD

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Gyan Prakash
Udaipur, Rajasthan: Sudha Choubey, a 57-year old tribal woman, hails from Dholikhera village located in the Bambora sector of Girwa block, Sisarma, Udaipur Adarsh Aganbadi Center. She works as a helper in Anganwadi Centre and her husband is a daily wage labourer. After the birth of her third child, she started experiencing challenges. During pregnancy, Kanchan’s economic condition did not allow her to make provisions for having balanced nutritious food resulting in delivery of an underweight boy on 23 September 2017. Weighing just 1 kg 700 grams at the time of birth, the child was very weak and had to be admitted in ICU for 5 days just after birth. In this center around 22 age of 3 to 6 years children are ragistred. who is taking early child hood development (ECD) and Early Child hood Education (ECE). This center is run by ANM and Anganbadi Workers. Marjoeie, secretary, Unnati Sansthan (NGO). ECD and ECE is changing life of parents and as well as his malenutrition childrens. Udaipur, Dungarpur, banswara and pratabgarh streanthing the task. on the Second Phase jamoud, Badmer, Sirohi.


Boosting pickup:
It was in one of the Village Health and Nutrition Day (VHND), that Kanchan met Vishal, a field worker from Unnati Sansthan, a civil society organization working in the area. He learnt about the issue of Kanchan’s son who was 11 months old then. Vishal approached and convinced her that his son will be fine if she took care of her own as well as her son’s nutrition. He conducted a physical examination and then proceeded to explain to her how providing light food to the child and breastfeeding him at least 10-12 times a day will help in weight gain of the child. He motivated Kanchan by explaining that for a healthy child, the mother too has to be fit. He asked her to eat at least 3-4 times a day. Vishal regularly visited her home and followed up on the nutritional status of both Kanchan and her son. Kanchan obediently followed Vishal’s advice and took special care of hygienic environment at home.

After her continuous efforts and timely motivation by Vishal, her child now weighs 8.5kg at the age of 1 years and 5 months. Kanchan is extremely happy and now motivates other pregnant women and mothers of newly born kids to take proper care which will help to provide a bright future to the children. It is well known now that for a pregnant mother, eating a nutritious diet during pregnancy is linked to good fetal brain development, a healthy birth weight and is known to reduce the risk of many birth defects. After all, all mothers want their children to be healthy and happy and want a good start to their life!
Focus areas for ECD:
Supporting government to improve coverage of high-impact health and nutrition
interventions, including community and health facility follow up of small and sick
newborns
Building capacities of frontline workers to promote positive parenting (including
responsive feeding and early stimulation) and deliver early childhood education
Increasing awareness of parents and caregivers on the importance of adequate
nourishment, care, positive interactions, and creating a stimulating and responsive
environment for their children,
Developing strategies to increase parents’ knowledge regarding rights and
entitlements of children in their early years,
Supporting national and state governments to have increased capacity to ensure age
and developmentally appropriate pre-primary education for school readiness.
Ensuring access to safe drinking water and sanitation by promoting child friendly
toilets, handwashing with soap at critical times by caregivers and children and use
of safe water for drinking
Advocating for coordination among different ministries/departments in early
childhood development

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