Sunday, May 14, 2017

On Mother's Day, a Message from a Father

In his book  The First 1,000 Days: A Crucial Time for Mothers and Children—And the World, journalist and author Roger Thurow, offers a narrative journey through the 1,000 days from the beginning of a mother’s pregnancy to the second birthday of her child. The book was published in 2016.

"He takes us to the western highlands region of Guatemala, where women can't afford to eat the locally grown fruits and vegetables, and they struggle against parasites and a lack of clean water. We also meet young women in rural Uganda, where the infant mortality rate is disturbingly high. Basic essentials are hard to come by and mosquito nets are used to fend off malaria," said Allison Aubrey, who interviewed Thurow on NPR's The Diane Rehm show. "He journeys to India, where women struggle with poverty and some feel the pressure to bear more children than they can support. We're also introduced to women in a violent-ridden neighborhood in Chicago who — despite living in the shadows of abundance – have limited access to affordable fresh fruits and vegetables. Here, women are sometimes obese yet malnourished from a diet rich in processed, calorie-dense foods that contain few micro nutrients."

In this short video, Thurow describes his book and the challenges that mothers in four countries (and around the world) to try to ensure that infants receive the proper nutrition.  A big obstacle is that these mothers often lack the support systems that are necessary to help their newborns and infants thrive. " Here's a reason to read the book: It's actually full of hope," said Aubrey. "Thurow documents the many efforts of prenatal counselors, doulas, midwives and others working to upend the status quo — to give women the education, resources and support they need."

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