How Nursing Mothers in Nicaragua Live: The Story of Our Patient

Text Author: Vika Kaplitskaya
Photographer: Alisa Kalinina

Problems with lactation, lack of sleep, children’s illnesses are the problems nursing mothers from all over the world face. However, the women, who live in regions with limited resources, are having an especially hard time with it. We share a story of one of our patients for you to understand how women from Chinandega, Nicaragua cope with those difficulties.

Maria is 20, she has three children. The elder one is already 4 years old, the first child was born when Maria was 16. Currently, Maria is breastfeeding the twins who are only 7 months old. In the Tiguilotada community, where they live, there is no water-supply system. Because of this, locals suffer from the illnesses connected to the lack of pure running water.

Common viruses and infections are unavoidable as well. One of the twins transmitted pneumony at 3 months of age. Recently both of them got bronchiolitis, now they also have dysentery. Unfortunately, there are no doctors and no supplies to treat the children. When they were prescribed inhalations that required a nebulizer, Maria had to move to La Salvia because her original community has no electricity. The family was sheltered by our neighbours. We are very thankful for that!

Maria has a husband who helps her raise the children. However, he has to work in the field a lot to support the family, so the majority of household chores lies on Maria’s shoulders. Unfortunately, jobs in agriculture are paid very badly and the couple has a significantly limited budget. The family frequently have not enough money even for proper nutrition, not to mention buying basic medicines.

In this region, there are many families like Maria’s. Most local girls attend only 2-3 years of school and many do not learn to write or read. Because of lack of sexual education many start to have sex at the age of 11-12 and give birth to the first child very early. Some girls try to use contraceptives by buying injections in a pharmacy and asking their neighbours to administer it.. Nevertheless, they don’t know a lot about using medicines like this and get injections without considering a day of their menstrual cycle. It leads to serious health consequences.

Thanks to Health & Help, women can get professional medical help and support in family planning. Volunteers tell them about contraception methods and prevention of sexual infections. If you want to take part in developing the project, you can donate on our website.

Any amount is a significant input into local women’s future!

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