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YUM’s Antenatal Care Program for Pregnant Women

One of YUM’s programs to prevent and reduce the number of stunting cases in Cipanas, and which is supported by the Priscilla Hall Memorial Foundation (PHMF), is the Antenatal Care Program for Pregnant women. Antenatal care is vital for pregnant mothers (especially new ones) in that it provides information about ensuring that their baby is healthy at birth, and remains so.

The first 1000 days of life (from pregnancy until the baby is 2 years old) is a well-established, critical window of opportunity for improving child growth and development. Investing in nutrition interventions during this period is essential to allow children to reach their full developmental potential. Providing prenatal supplements containing iron and folic acid (IFA) and/or food-based supplements, are the most commonly recommended strategies for improving childbirth outcomes, especially among undernourished populations. 

Maternal anemia in the first or second trimester of pregnancy increases the risk of prematurity, low birth weight, and stunting. Globally, it is estimated that nearly one-fifth of pregnant women have iron deficiency or anemia at some stage during their pregnancy. Due to this reason, the program distributes iron tablets based on recommendations from the midwives and provides regular hemoglobin level checks for all pregnant women in order to detect early maternal anemia.

During the program, 145 mothers had their hemoglobin level checked. It was discovered that 20% of them were suffering from anemia during pregnancy. To monitor their condition YUM collaborated with a midwife. The pregnant mothers were given 30 iron tablets per month from September 2020 to February 2021 in 10 different health centers (Posyandus) in Cipanas, West Java. The government recommends that pregnant mothers take iron tablets for a minimum of 90 days during their pregnancy, however many don’t understand the importance of these tablets

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