Donata lives in rural Kenya with her two children, Maxwell and Victor. She was married at 19 and had her first baby, Maxwell when she was 20. The pregnancy was unexpected -Donata was relieved that her parents were supportive, but told us that having a baby so young made her feel lost. She would go to local antenatal clinics, but she would often have to wait from morning until evening to see a doctor. Sometimes she would wait all day only to be told to return again the next day.
Donata felt shy and unprepared for motherhood, she says no-one advised her what to buy or how to prepare for the birth. When Donata went into labour, she didn’t recognise it and thought she was just in pain. She gave birth to Maxwell in the local hospital where staff were stressed and rude - and the hospital was very busy and overstretched.
Donata’s husband suddenly left the family when she was two months pregnant with their second son, Victor. She felt extremely stressed as without any financial contribution from him, she was reliant on her own income. After her first experience, Donata was determined not to return to the same clinic to give birth, so she continued to work hard as a hairdresser through her pregnancy, raising enough money to have Victor in a private hospital. This was extremely expensive for her, but despite birth complications and financial worries she preferred giving birth in the private clinic. Since he left, Donata’s husband has not contacted her or visited Victor.
Donata told us that her greatest hope is to encourage more young women in her area to get an education and a job before falling pregnant and getting married, so they have more independence. Donata is enrolled in a local Child.org nutritional training programme, and she told us that being part of this community of women helped her to find meaning in life again after her husband left.
Donata would love to see Team Mum pregnant women’s groups in her area, providing support and important health advice for scared young mums who are in the same position she was in. That's why she's shared her story to support the Team Mum campaign.
If you donate to Team Mum before 30 April, your donation will be matched by the UK government. That means we can reach twice as many frightened new mums like Donata once was, and connect them to a community of strong and experienced women like Donata is today.
Watch Donata's Team Mum video
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If you like what Child.org are doing to support mums and babies, please consider joining Team Mum Monthly. Your donation will help us reach mums and babies who need our help, and we'll keep you up to date with all the cool stuff you're helping us to do.
PLUS if you join Team Mum Monthly before 30 April 2019, your first three months will be doubled by the UK government, with this funding going towards our new pregnancy support groups in rural Kenya.