Eastern Mosul

Nurture Project International’s CEO Brooke Bauer tells of when she and NPI’s Iraq team entered liberated eastern Mosul to respond to a request for pregnancy and lactation support.

Photo: An example of the terrifying living conditions being experienced by mothers and babies in eastern Mosul.

Nurture Project International is dedicated to reaching the most vulnerable families fleeing war and terror. Recently our Iraq team entered eastern Mosul to respond to a request for pregnancy and lactation support.

Upon arrival the team first met with a young mother and her five young children. The mother was worried that she didn’t have enough milk for her five month old baby. She felt the quality of her milk had reduced once they started to flee from intense fighting during terrorist control of the city. Yet, the mother was still breastfeeding at every chance she could get and the baby was plump and alert.

The NPI team reassured her that her milk was still nutritious. They assessed the indicators for milk supply and reassured the mother that it sounded like she had enough milk. They took the weight of the baby and said that they would again follow up.

The team encouraged her to picture a happy future for her baby. They encouraged her to think of her baby growing up in safety. They explained that using this visualization will encourage her hormones to flow and will help the milk to be released easier.

The team also helped with some practical mothering solutions as well. The mother was reusing diapers as it was difficult to find them. She had single use diapers hanging on the line to dry for one more use. The team showed ways to fold cloth for a reusable diaper.

They helped walk through available foods that could be used once the baby begins to eat solid foods in a month’s time. They talked about nutrition and sleep and development.

Most importantly, the NPI team listened. They let the family know that they are not forgotten. They reassured the mother that even in these dire circumstances her mothering instinct is strong and of value. They reassured her that her body has the ability to care for her baby. And they did this as explosions shook through the air as the military worked to liberate western Mosul.

There are thousands more mothers who need our support, both in camps and in newly liberated areas. They need our support in besieged areas where support through texts, phone calls and internet can provide the reassurance that mothers need to trust themselves and to trust their bodies.

Nurture Project International is providing this support daily in Greece and Iraq. We are working toward providing this support through innovative communication methods to reach women and children trapped in besieged areas in Syria and Yemen.