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 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.