pregnancy

'I want my child to be born healthy.' What it's like to be pregnant in 3 different countries.

Elevit
Thanks to our brand partner, Elevit

If you’ve ever experienced the unique journey of becoming a parent, you will know it opens you up to a shared empathy with those going through the same. While everyone’s path to pregnancy, as well as their experience of it, is different, for some this journey involves a little more anxiety than others.

These concerns are front of mind for millions of mothers throughout the world who are facing malnourishment, leading them to lack the vitamins and nutrients they need to support a healthy pregnancy. 

There’s no denying that there are some pregnant women in underdeveloped countries who need extra support. It's the central idea behind Every Beginning, a long-term commitment by pregnancy supplement brand Elevit, because they believe in giving "every baby the best start in life".

Every Beginning is a global program that supports both parents and parents-to-be in the first 1000 days of their baby's life, through donations, education, advocacy and community support networks. As part of this work, Elevit is partnering with Vitamin Angels to provide underserved communities with daily multiple micronutrient supplements to help support healthy pregnancies, prevent anemia, promote fetal growth, and help ensure that babies are born at a healthy birth weight.

Through Every Beginning, Elevit is committing to deliver prenatal multivitamins to up to four million women and their babies globally every year.

Behind these numbers are real women like us, with their own pregnancy stories. Real women like Santoshini from India, Algae from the Philippines and Edith from Mexico.

We take a walk in their shoes to see how their pregnancies differ, and what they share in common.

Santoshini, India

Santoshini is currently in her second pregnancy and is due to deliver her baby in less than a week. She and her husband, along with their two-year-old son, recently moved back in with her mother Jhunnu to allow her to help during this life-changing transition. 

"I want my child to be born healthy,” Santoshini said.

Her mother helps to make sure Santoshini is consuming a balanced diet as well as taking the rest she needs to prepare for the birth. Jhunnu brings her daughter fruit every day and adds certain ingredients to her meals.

"I make sure to have many vegetables like tomatoes, beans, okra, pumpkin, and ground gourd in her meals,” Jhunnu said. 

Not long after finding out she was pregnant, Santoshini received a bottle of Vitamin Angels' prenatal vitamins and minerals from a local distribution point. Considering their combined family income is roughly 4500 rupees a month (approximately $84.50 AUD), being given access to this resource for free, throughout her pregnancy, makes a big difference to her.

Santoshini is doing as much as she can to ensure she is looking after her health through food and vitamins. She is also taking her son for a walk every morning to make sure she’s maintaining regular exercise.

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She received the good news that her latest sonogram went well and it left her full of joy. The future is looking bright for her new baby.

Image: Supplied.

Algae, Philippines

Algae, 27, lives in the Philippines and runs a dive shop with her friend. When she found out she was pregnant, she made the decision to solely focus on raising her daughter after giving birth. She wants to give her baby the best start in life that she can, ensuring that societal issues don’t stand in the way.

Like Santoshini, Algae received a supply of prenatal vitamins and minerals from Vitamin Angels, and she was grateful for the additional support. This is not just a one-off thing - women like Algae are given the vitamins throughout their entire pregnancy.


The soon-to-be mother has big dreams for her first child. "I hope my daughter becomes the president of the Philippines!” she shared excitedly.

Image: Supplied.

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Edith, Mexico

When Edith, 23, first discovered she was pregnant, she immediately started to research and look for local antenatal care. It meant a lot to Edith that she had support, connection and understanding, especially when considering access to resources and financial opportunities are limited in her small community.

"You hear of many mothers in our communities who worry about their children growing up and getting sick, which is often very expensive and stressful," Edith said.

Families who live in Oaxaca, Mexico, like Edith’s typically live on a diet of mostly starchy foods and legumes. The lack of variety in the food that is available means pregnant women often don’t receive all the vitamins and minerals that are crucial for supporting their babies' growth and development. 

"I hope my child can grow healthy during this time,” Edith said.

Image: Supplied.

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Edith’s mother and father are committed to making sure their daughter and new grandchild both maintain their health. Edith’s father is concerned about his daughter’s health and the chance his grandchild could grow underdeveloped. 

“I want my grandchild to be healthy and develop well, so my wife and I do our best to provide for our daughter now,” he said.

But balancing these unknowns has been overwhelming at times for Edith, causing her to feel worried and anxious. Despite her situation, she’s embracing this special time in her life.

"I've never been a mother before. It's a little scary because it's a whole new experience. But the more I feel my baby growing, the more excited I am,” she said. 

Aside from the support of her family, Edith has also received care and education on pregnancy nutrition at a local clinic that distributes Vitamin Angels' prenatal vitamins and minerals. With this combined support, there’s hope for Edith to have a healthy baby.

While Santoshini, Algae and Edith’s pregnancy journeys have all been unique, taking place in completely different parts of the world, all three of these women have one thing in common: they all want their babies to be born healthy. 

Through the support of Elevit’s Every Beginning mission, these women (and mums around the world just like them) can feel like they are doing what they can to help give their babies the best start in life.


Find out what you can do to support the work of Elevit and Vitamin Angels here.

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Elevit
Parenthood is one of the greatest connections people can share. Every parent has something which could aid the journey of another; the right words to say, the perfect gem of knowledge, the empathy to reach out and help. That’s why Elevit created Every Beginning - to empower parents to turn their empathy into action, channeling their universal experiences and the joy of giving, to give every baby the best start in life. In partnership with Vitamin Angels, we are helping nourish every beginning. Find out more and join in by heading to elevit.com.au/everybeginning
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