Ainul, a van driver from Northern Nilphamari, Bangladesh, had abandoned any hope of having a child after the traumatic experience he endured with his wife Lazina during the birth of their first child.
Like many others in his village, Ainul called on a dai, or midwife, when Lazina went into labour in November 2009. He explains: “There were lots of complications and my wife bled profusely. The dai did not know what to do.”
Four years later, Lazina heard about meetings where people discussed safe motherhood and birth, conducted by LAMB, one of our local partner NGOs working with us on our Women and Their Children’s Health (WATCH) project. She joined the meetings and learned how to prepare for a safe delivery, about nutrition and how to bring up children.
Community Health Worker also conducted sessions for men in the community. This allowed men to learn about their role in supporting deliveries, child care, ante-natal and post-natal activities, immunization, nutrition, family planning and birth planning.
Lazina told her husband about the things she had learnt at the sessions and convinced him to join. Ainul still remembers the surprise he felt at the first session.
“I learnt so many new things on how on take care of pregnant women, that I realised how little I knew,” says Ainul.
A few sessions dispelled the fear he had about delivery. He understood that it was possible to ensure safe delivery and the safety of Lazina and their child. The next time, Ainul helped ensure she was well fed, took enough rest, refrained from strenuous activity and went for at least four medical check-ups.
When Lazina went into labour for the second time, Ainul immediately took her to a hospital for the delivery. She gave birth to a second child without any complications. It was an important learning for Ainul and he felt the need to share the knowledge in his community about the benefit of having a delivery in a hospital.
“Since then, I tell people about safe delivery and what they should do,” explains Ainul. He also advises men to be more supportive during their wife’s pregnancy by helping with the cooking, household chores and taking care of other children
“If men are not aware of these things and don’t stand by their wives in such situations, it is difficult to ensure the good health of the mother or the new-born child,” Ainul observes.