In September 2019, a young mother named ‘Ganga’ at Mahasamund City of Chhattisgarh, gave birth to her first baby. A premature baby boy with extremely low birth weight of 1100gms was immediately taken under medical supervision at the district Special Newborn Care Unit (SNCU).

While the premature baby boy was treated and managed in the SNCU showing remarkable improvement, the anxious mother was given the choice to participate in the FPC counselling and training sessions.

The mother was very keen and enthusiastic on learning the FPC skills and attend her baby in the SNCU. She was trained in the skills of hand washing, wearing caps, gloves, mask and gown, breastfeeding, cleaning the soiled baby, skin care, cord care, recognizing danger signs and simultaneous remedial actions and most important Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC). She attended her baby in the SNCU following all entry protocols, practiced all the newly acquired skills and provided scheduled KMC for approximately 6 hours per day for more than 80 days.

The baby got discharged in December 2019, with significant signs of improvement. Subsequent follow-up a week later proved remarkable weight gain to 1440 gms and improvement.

Till the time of this reporting the baby was doing fine, exclusively breastfed with all development milestones as per his age. As a result of increased care in the system the follow-up rate has also increased significantly

The mother felt empowered and confident to take care of her baby at home on her own. Being close to my child and being able to take care of him under guidance of SNCU staff nurse, I am sure that he will get better and seeing his progress assures me as well.”

She said: “Ma garbh me pal sakti hai to duniya me bhi sambhal sakti hai, main sab karungi apne bachche ke liye”

She continued breastfeeding, providing scheduled KMC, immunization and needful screening as per the discharge advice.

Staffs Nurse Ms. Prabha Ratre who has been working for more than 3 years highlights that recently started FPC benefits the baby, mother as well as the providers in several ways. She emphasized that after initiation of FPC the SNCU team has been proactive and more focused towards their roles in providing better clinical care. Also, FPC creates trained mothers who support them in providing care to neonates with great commitments in the SNCU as well as at home after discharge.

The story of Ganga and her baby has provided SNCU of DH Mahasamund with a learning that strengthening clinical practices, family’s participation as part of FPC, allowing fathers or mothers to be part of the process helps in the survival and growth of the neonate against all odds.