“My pregnancy was a problem…now it’s a sweet wait for my baby to be born.”
Nicolasa is a 27-year-old pregnant woman, living in the Japan Neighborhood, a semi-urban area of the city of Tarija, Bolivia. This neighborhood does not have access to a traditional health care facility, and the residents are tragically uninformed about preventative care measures.
Nicolasa and her husband, Juan Carlo, have been together for more than four years, and have a 3-year-old son named Junior. Due to financial difficulties, Nicolasa was never able to finish her studies. She completed only primary school, dropping out after 6th grade. Now Nicolasa spends her days dedicated exclusively to housework and caring for Junior. Her husband works hard in the fields every day to support the family. All they want is for their children to have better opportunities than they did growing up.
The family was struggling to get by, so when the news came that they were expecting once again, instead of being excited, Nicolasa and Juan Carlos were gravely concerned about how they would provide for two children…
For the first three months of her pregnancy, Nicolasa was also naive to the medical checkups and care needed. She did not visit the doctor because she simply did not know it was important.
Fortunately, Nicolasa’s son, Junior, is a beneficiary of a school greenhouse project executed by Esperança Bolivia, and it was through this project that our staff made contact with his mother. Nicolasa and Juan Carlos were invited to participate in the prenatal care workshops provided by Esperança Bolivia.
Nicolasa and other expectant mothers participated in three 4-hour workshops where topics covered: the importance of prenatal check-ups, signs of danger in pregnant women and newborns, healthy eating, prenatal stimulation, and emotional changes in pregnant women.
Nicolasa was especially moved by the activities that were focused on strengthening the emotional bonds of the mother to the baby, therefore strengthening the entire family’s relationship. In these workshops they learned to knit baby clothes, helping both mothers and fathers strengthen their ties as a couple and with the baby. Mothers who did not know how to weave supported and taught each other. Esperança also provided a photo album for each expectant couple, called Memories of a Sweet Wait.
Nicolasa is now excited and more confident after participating in these classes. “Before Esperança, nobody told us how to talk to the baby or what it should eat… nobody told us anything. I liked the workshops and meeting with the doctor. He explained what I should be eating and what to do when the baby was born.”
“My husband almost did not care, but afterwards he asked me what I did in the workshops and learned as much as I did. Now he does not challenge me when I buy healthy food!”
Now Nicolasa is 6 months pregnant and attends all of her prenatal check-ups.
“I am so happy. Before I felt that my pregnancy was a problem, but now it’s a sweet wait for the baby to be born. Now I help other ladies love and care for their babies from the moment they enter their bellies.”