We didn’t know it was possible

 

My experience of having a baby has been full of things I didn’t expect.

My name is Esther. I live with my husband and our little one in a village in Malawi. When I became pregnant, a woman who works as a Mother Buddy started to visit me. She came to teach me and my husband about safe motherhood.

My Mother Buddy advised me to start going to an antenatal clinic when I was just three months pregnant. I didn’t realise how important this was. She also advised me to go for an HIV test. She told me that she was living with HIV herself, but since getting treatment she had had children born without HIV. After hearing her story, I was keen to follow her advice. Like her, I tested HIV positive but I started treatment and my baby was born HIV negative.

We were so happy and amazed! My husband did not know that HIV positive parents can have a child who is HIV negative, and we also did not know that an HIV positive mother can breastfeed. My Mother Buddy was able to help me and my husband to understand these things.

My Mother Buddy has kept visiting after our baby was born, and she taught us about good nutrition. Now, as long as the food is available, I have been able to cook nutritious meals for my family.

She has made such a difference in our family life, and everybody can see it. Our village elders are very happy that we are visiting the hospital and that the Mother Buddy is visiting us here at home.

Sometimes I think about the problems I could have had with my pregnancy if I hadn’t gone to the clinic, or how my little one could have been born with HIV. Things could have been so different, and I feel very grateful. This project really needs to continue so that it can reach other pregnant women in this village.

Based closely on feedback received from a woman in Malawi who has been supported by a Mother Buddy. Esther’s name has been changed.

You can make sure that another woman like Esther gets the help and support of a Mother Buddy by getting involved in Pregnancy Twinning. Click here to find out more.

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