First 1 000 days of newborn babies are vital

Some of the women who attended the end-of-year celebrations talk are from left Vuyokazi Madaka, Zukiswa Magasana, Sisiwe Siguca, Andiswa Lupondo, Amanda Mamase and Pheleka James

The Flourish Centre, which aims to empower mothers with information about their babies’ development, is urging women to always honour the first 1 000 days of their children’s lives.

On Saturday November 30, the Khayelitsha-based NGO held a talk with pregnant women.

Through its 10-week programme for pregnant moms, the organisation said, it wants to make sure that mothers are well taught.

Flourish host Amanda Mamse said the programme was an intervention designed to support the relationship between a mother and child during the critical first 1000 days of a child’s life.

She said her organisation did not only teach them at the talks but also visited some of the pregnant moms at home.

“We intend to use it as an add-on to existing home visiting programmes.

“We run these educational talks for 10 weeks, once a week for pregnant moms in the form of support groups.

“That is where we talk more about the importance of the first 1000 days of a child’s life, advising moms to be aware on how to care for themselves and their unborn children,” she said.

She added that they also ensure that mothers make the best decisions about how to feed their children.

“We also focus on the importance of good nutrition. In our topics we always encourage pregnant women, especially those who are pregnant for the first time, to know better.

“The first-timers are at a high risk of having vitamin and mineral deficiencies. It is always better to empower them,” said Ms Mamase.

One participant, Zukiswa Magasana, said proper nutrition was a matter of life and death and all pregnant moms should be educated about it.

She also urged other women to attend next year’s sessions as there was a lot to learn from them.

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