Building Strong Minds for Stronger Adolescents: A Toolkit for Psycho Social Support for Pregnant and Adolescent Mothers in Informal Settlements of Nairobi

Caroline Wainaina, African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC)
Estelle Monique Sidze, African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC)

Introduction One in five girls in Kenya between 15 and 19 years has begun childbearing. Limited knowledge and confidence towards pregnancy, child feeding and care, push adolescent girls towards mental stress and ultimately affects the well-being of the mother and the child. Objective To engage pregnant and adolescent mothers to identify mental stressors and solutions packaged as a toolkit that can be used to build their resilience and confidence. Methodology Visual methodologies, in in-depth interviews and focus group discussions were used. Two platforms were provided for support i) WhatsApp and Face to Face meetings. Results The stressors included stigmatization and rejection from family members, friends, neighbors, boyfriend and school staff and students. This led to feelings of stress, anger, frustration and hopelessness. Conclusion Pregnant and adolescent mothers are psychologically stressed and do not have sufficient support systems. There is need for more structures to provide this type of support.

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  Presented in Session 131. Innovative Community Interventions for Improving Maternal, Newborn, Neonatal, and Child Survival.