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Script .6

Notes to broadcasters

When couples are expecting a child, many men and women are uncomfortable talking about issues such as child care, pregnancy, delivery, and the role of men and women in these issues. In some cultures, the husband is the primary person with whom a pregnant woman would discuss such matters; neighbours or close friends can also be involved.

In other cultures, female elders, midwives, and the mother-in-law have a special role to play in encouraging discussion and providing advice to the pregnant woman. Today, however, younger women frequently do not want to follow their advice, even when they advise women to go to a health facility for care.

To talk about these issues, we have visited a couple in a village in Arusha district, Tanzania. They were married one year ago, and have made plans, including how they can make their life prosperous and take care of their children.

This script contains eight separate interviews with the couple, spanning a period from before the wife was pregnant until after the child is born. There are several ways to use this script. You could use it as a guide to interviewing an expectant couple in your own area. Read closely through the kinds of questions and issues in the interviews. Find out how couples in your area prepare for childbirth. Who makes the decisions? Do husbands and wives discuss these issues together? You may also choose to air these interviews as they are, making adaptations to your local situation. The eight interviews could be aired for eight days in a row, or once a week for eight weeks.

This script is based on actual interviews. If you choose to use voice actors to represent the couple who are being interviewed, please make sure to tell your audience at the beginning of the program that the voices are those of actors, not the original people involved in the interview, and that the program has been adapted for your local audience, but is based on a real interview.

Also, some of the cultural customs and traditions followed by the couple and their families may be different than those of your listening audience. Feel free to adapt the script to the cultural context of your listening audience. Or you could present the story as occurring in a different culture with different values and traditions.

Script

Characters:
Producer
Husband
Wife

Setting:
Rural community

 

PRESENTER:
It is often difficult for young men and women to discuss issues related to pregnancy and childbirth. Younger women appear to have little information about childbirth before they have their baby, and they do not feel comfortable asking questions. Men often appear uncaring or uninterested in pregnancy and childbirth, and women may be reluctant to tell their husbands that they are pregnant. Our producer visited a young couple aged 23 years and 22 years, living near Arusha, Tanzania. They live a poor life and are self-employed, depending on whatever daily labour they can find. They live just next to the husband’s parents, but depend on their own efforts to survive. The discussion with our producer and the young couple follows.

First interview – before the pregnancy

MUSIC:
SIGNATURE TUNE UP. HOLD 10 SECONDS AND FADE OUT

PRODUCER:
What plans do you have for your family?

HUSBAND:
Our first plan is to go out of our poverty.

PRODUCER:
How about children? What have you planned?

HUSBAND:
Yes, we have planned to have children, if God blesses us with that.

SFX:
Barking of a dog

PRODUCER:
How many children are you expecting to have?

HUSBAND:
We have discussed the issue and we will continue planning until we reach an agreement.

WIFE:
We had planned during our engagement period to have three. I said two, my husband wants three, but I didn’t agree, and I am still thinking. (Wife, husband and producer laughing)

PRODUCER
Who makes the decision on the number of children?

WIFE:
I think we are both responsible. But men sometimes want to take control of it.

PRODUCER:
It seems that in your family you have agreed that the husband will not take over and decide. Why have you decided to have only two or three children?

WIFE:
We are poor. Life is not easy. There is no money and it is difficult to make money. If you have ten children and you are poor, you cannot manage them. They would live a difficult life and it is like bringing them into a life of problems. To have a few children is better than having many, because you can show love to them.

PRODUCER:
As the father of the family, when do you plan to have these two or three children?

HUSBAND:
We thought to have our firstborn after one year, and it is almost that time now. And we are praying to have one.

PRODUCER:
Why are you thinking like this instead of having a child immediately after your marriage?

HUSBAND:
It is because marriage is like birth. You will be like kids in a marriage in the beginning; you are just married and you expect a child right away. I think that even your economic situation is not good if you have just started married life. You don’t have any direction how life will be. This is a problem for many newly married couples. I advise at least one year, and then you can have a child, instead of immediately and then there are problems. You are facing a new thing you have never faced before.

PRODUCER:
How do you plan to chase away poverty?

HUSBAND:
Maybe to work hard. It doesn’t matter what job you choose. Even if it’s mopping or cleaning, you must be ready to work hard to reduce poverty and live a good life.

PRODUCER:
I can see you have cows, chicken, goats and a farm. This shows at least you can earn something for a living. Did your parents advise you about marriage?

WIFE:
They have never advised us about anything. They are typical Maasai and they depend on their cultural traditions completely. The father-in-law can’t even come in my house. They are not ready to advise anything. But we have received advice from close friends.

PRODUCER:
Perhaps the husband was advised?

HUSBAND:
No. None of our parents say, “If you do this, you will be like this, or this will happen.” They advise you to have ten cows, but if you consider this, it does not produce any profit. Now we are farming a small plot intensively, and the one cow we have produces a lot of milk.

PRODUCER:
Wife, do you have any worries about marriage?

WIFE:
Yes. I am afraid of being poor. I am worried about whether I will manage to take care of my children and take them to school. Sometimes I believe I will succeed and have a good life, but sometimes I am afraid.

PRODUCER:
Husband, you are planning to have a child after one year of marriage. What are your worries?

HUSBAND:
About the neighbours. What are they saying about me? Will I manage to build a good house and take care of my family? To build a modern house takes a lot of money and my salary is very little. I do casual labour and the pay is very little, and as it depends on the work that I can find, I cannot predict how much money I will have. Will I manage? Will I be a good father who cares and gives a chance to my wife to have a good life?

MUSIC:
SIGNATURE TUNE UP. HOLD 10 SECONDS AND FADE OUT.

****************************************************************************

Second interview – second month of pregnancy

Characters:
Presenter
Wife
Husband

PRESENTER:
Many people think that when a woman is pregnant, it is bad luck to make advance plans or decisions about childbirth. Others believe that even announcing the pregnancy can invite witchcraft or some other misfortune. We’re talking about these issues today with a young couple, aged 23 years and 22 years, who live in a village near Arusha, Tanzania. They are self-employed and poor, depending on daily casual work. They have been married for one year and plan to have a child soon.

In the last programme, we talked about family care and planning. The couple talked about beginning married life. You heard that they are planning to have a child. They have lived together for almost a year now. They said that this decision would be made together, between the husband and wife. Three months after their first meeting, the producer visited the family again. They will tell us if they have succeeded at conceiving a child as they had planned.

The discussion with our producer and the couple continues.

MUSIC:
SIGNATURE TUNE UP. HOLD 10 SECONDS AND FADE OUT.

PRESENTER:
How do you feel when you think of having a child?

WIFE:
I am feeling good and I thank God I have succeeded in my plans, and I feel that I have conceived. I have been pregnant for two months now.

PRESENTER:
How sure are you that you have conceived and are pregnant?

WIFE:
I feel different than I used to. I haven’t had my menstrual period, and I started vomiting, sleeping, and feeling tired. I feel like eating only certain types of foods, and if I eat one type of food today, I can’t eat the same food tomorrow.

PRESENTER:
What is your husband’s reaction to that?

WIFE:
I thank God I have a good husband. He has left behind all bad traditions. He can cook for me and do other work. In this area, men are not allowed to do such work, but my husband is different. He can cook and fetch water while I am just sleeping. This month I had problems, but my husband was really encouraging.

PRESENTER:
Husband, how did you feel when your wife became pregnant?

HUSBAND:
In the beginning I felt very bad, because I started worrying about what will happen. In our area, it is completely not allowed for men to cook. But my wife is tired. So I took my own decision to change and do the work to build my own family. I learned also from my close friends, and I was able to help my wife. And of course I knew it would not last forever! (Husband, wife and producer laughing)

PRESENTER:
As a husband, what do you think needs to be done?

HUSBAND:
What’s important is that the mother knows her own needs and makes sure she eats a balanced diet and gets food at the right time. As a father and husband, I should know that today she likes this kind of food or not, so I can provide the food she likes. And I think foods like fruit are important to the pregnant woman, and it is the responsibility of the husband to make sure all her needs are taken care of. (Wife laughing)

PRESENTER:
Have you been successful in that?

WIFE:
I thank God that fruit is available. (Wife and husband laughing) I can even have juice at midnight, and fruit is available all the time. He really does a very good job of taking care of me. (Laughing) If I need oranges, I get them!

MUSIC:
SIGNATURE TUNE UP. HOLD 10 SECONDS AND FADE OUT.

*****************************************************************************.

Third interview – the third month of pregnancy

Characters:
Presenter
Husband
Wife
Neighbouring mother

PRESENTER:
We are talking about family, pregnancy and child care with our expectant couple. We have met today in the third month of the mother’s pregnancy. We will talk about her progress so far and their preparation for the baby to come. What is the progress of the baby in the womb? What are the family responsibilities at this stage?

MUSIC:
SIGNATURE TUNE UP. HOLD 10 SECONDS AND FADE OUT.

PRESENTER:
Mother, please tell us what has happened after two months of pregnancy, and now in this third month?

WIFE:
In this third month, I am feeling good. I am not feeling so tired, and I have no more vomiting. I can eat all foods and I don’t feel any discomfort. It was very bad earlier in the pregnancy. If I ate an orange today and then again the next day, I would vomit. But now I feel a bit better. Last week I went to the clinic, and they told me to eat fruit and greens instead of juice. I tell you I faithfully drank a lot of juice. (Wife and producer laughing)

PRESENTER:
Husband, is it true? Did she drink a lot? (Laughing continues)

HUSBAND:
Yes. She was really faithful, drinking a lot of juice. (Laughing continues)

PRESENTER:
What are your thoughts now about going to the clinic for a pre-birth or antenatal check-up?

HUSBAND:
She has already started going to the clinic this month. She will continue, in order to get the advice she needs, and to be sure that everything is fine with the pregnancy.

PRESENTER:
So, mother, you have started the clinic?

WIFE:
Yes. I was examined, they checked my blood, and I was tested for HIV and I am negative. I had a lot of examinations and they told me that I have no problems.

PRESENTER:
Where did you attend the clinic?

WIFE:
I went to the health clinic nearby.

PRESENTER:
Why didn’t you go to a traditional birth attendant?

WIFE:
It is true that traditional birth attendants have much knowledge. But the problem is that they don’t have the instruments for examinations and tests like blood tests, HIV tests, blood pressure, and things like that.

HUSBAND:
If you suggest going to the traditional birth attendant, it is okay, but they don’t have that kind of knowledge. They can’t provide vitamins or vaccinations, nor can they test blood and other things.

PRESENTER:
What do couples do? Do they like attending the clinic before and during delivery?

WIFE:
There are some who don’t want to go to the clinic. But, to my mind, if you don’t, you will not be able to care properly for the baby. If you go to the clinic, you will learn about the progress of the pregnancy – the health of both the mother and the child. Also, you will find out whether there are any complications. Those who don’t attend the clinic won’t have this advice, or important things like blood tests. Even the blood pressure is checked. Also, the position of the child and the fetal heartbeat is checked.

PRESENTER:
For the last few months, how do you see the progress of yourself and the baby?

WIFE:
There have been some problems along the way. I was so tired and was having headaches. Another problem was that I had a little bleeding for a few days – I was so afraid that I would abort the child. So I thank God for his great help to me. In the clinic, they checked and didn’t find any bad problems. They gave me some iron tablets. Since taking them, I have started getting back my energy.

PRESENTER:
With all the problems you have faced, were you still able to do all your work?

WIFE:
Sometimes I couldn’t manage. I was just so tired. But when I couldn’t manage, my husband helped me, for example, by cleaning the house, fetching water, getting firewood and other hard work.

PRESENTER:
When you went to the clinic, did the midwife give you any advice about diet?

WIFE:
She told me to eat plenty of different foods, and to drink enough water. Generally, she said to eat any food that I feel like eating, but she said to be sure to eat a lot of different foods, especially green leafy vegetables and foods like beans, eggs, and meat to stay healthy and strong.

PRESENTER:
How are you following this advice?

HUSBAND:
We are trying to do whatever we can by working hard. We don’t have any money saved for that. So we work hard and we get money to buy food. If you don’t work, the food will not come to you. But if you work hard, you will get money and you will buy enough food. We thank God also that we have a farm where we planted beans, maize, and other crops. So we get most of our own food and there is no need to buy it. We are really working hard to buy meat and fruit.

PRESENTER:
Have you put aside any money for the baby’s arrival?

HUSBAND:
Truly, we haven’t saved any money. When the midwife advised us that my wife should eat fruit, we didn’t have any money. But we worked hard and bought fruit, according to the midwife’s advice. You just do any work that can give you money. And you also have to be more careful with your money. I used to go out and relax with other men in the evening and drink some beer. But I came to realize that beer is very expensive, and if you leave it alone, you can save some money. I have been able to do that and we have succeeded so far.

PRESENTER:
What was the advice of your mother in-law during these three months?

WIFE:
She was close to me for any help I needed. If I needed milk, she provided it. Anything else I wanted, if she was able to get it, she gave it to me. But she never gave me any advice.

PRESENTER:
Why she didn’t provide any advice?

WIFE:
I am not sure; I think she is too afraid. The tradition doesn’t allow her to give advice. She was free to say anything to me, but she has never advised me to avoid something or do something to be healthy. She never spoke to me about pregnancy and how to take care.

PRESENTER:
Husband, what advice did you get from your father?

HUSBAND:
He said nothing, also because of tradition. He cannot even come inside my house –he stays away. (Husband and wife laughing) When my father visits me, he doesn’t want to come in. He never even advised me. He is one of the oldest now, and they are keeping their traditions.

PRESENTER:
Today, I am lucky to find a neighbour here. (Speaking to neighbour) Mother, it seems that you have children. What advice did you give this couple in these last three months on caring for the baby and preparing for childbirth?

NEIGHBOURING MOTHER:
My advice for now is about setting aside some money for the delivery. I know you can’t start preparing food yet or preparing anything for the baby, but it is good to prepare for the delivery and to start early. Save a little money, because this will help you during the birth and after the birth of the child. You can use this money for transport, for treatment, and even for food, depending on what is needed.

MUSIC:
SIGNATURE TUNE UP. HOLD 10 SECONDS AND FADE OUT.

*****************************************************************************

Fourth interview – the fifth month of pregnancy

Characters:
Presenter
Wife
Husband
Neighbouring mother

PRESENTER:
These days, doctors, nurses, and midwives advise that, when a woman is pregnant, she and her family should start preparing themselves for the birth. One of the important preparations is discussing and choosing the best place to deliver the baby. Other important preparations are planning for transport, setting aside some money, and even knowing who can donate blood in case it is needed. While some people think that it will bring bad luck to prepare for childbirth, this is not true. In fact, preparing for childbirth can help ensure that women and their babies get through the birth safely.

We are interviewing a young couple aged 23 years and 22 years living in a village near Arusha, Tanzania. They are self-employed and poor, depending on daily casual work. They are now in the fifth month of pregnancy. Today, we will see their progress over the last two months. What preparations have they made so far? Are there any complications in this fifth month?

Our producer continues.

MUSIC:
SIGNATURE TUNE UP. HOLD 10 SECONDS AND FADE OUT.

PRESENTER:
It is the fifth month of pregnancy. Are there any complications in this fifth month? Let us hear from the mother.

WIFE:
I went to the clinic and they gave me a vaccination, and the progress is good.

PRESENTER:
Which vaccination were you given?

WIFE:
The vaccination for tetanus.

PRESENTER:
How many vaccinations were you given?

WIFE:
The first vaccination was given to me the first time I went for a check-up, and this month they have given me a second injection to help protect me against infection.

PRESENTER:
What preparations are you making in this fifth month (sound of cow) concerning the child in terms of money?

WIFE:
I still have far to go –four months… I really do not know what to do. Some people tell me that it is bad to prepare for something you have not seen. I do not want to invite misfortune or interfere with God’s plans by making my own. (Wife laughing)

PRESENTER:
Husband, you are preparing to receive a child. What preparations have you made so far?

HUSBAND:
(Takes long breath) As my wife already said (wife laughing), we have not prepared so much. (Sound of cow) But I think you are right. We should prepare something so that we are ready when the time to deliver is near.

PRESENTER:
How much do you know right now about what is needed to receive a baby?

HUSBAND:
Truly, we don’t know. But we hear people saying that a little money must be put aside, and that even food needs to be saved. If you save some money, it can reduce the tension. We are still in the preparation. We don’t have any money in hand now, but we believe we will get some. Once we do, we will save it for the guest, meaning our child.

PRESENTER:
We have been lucky again to find a neighbouring mother, who is a friend of this couple. (Speaking to the neighbour) Can you please tell us what are the important things needed in the fifth month to prepare for receiving a child?

NEIGHBOURING MOTHER:
By the fifth month, you should have saved some money to get to the clinic and to buy anything that the midwife might need – things like gloves, cotton wool, and medicines. It’s also good to think about how to pay for transport. These are important things to think about when you are preparing to receive a child.

PRESENTER:
How well did you manage these kinds of preparations?

NEIGHBOURING MOTHER:
Yes, I managed. I saved some money and bought a syringe, gloves, and other things that were needed. If you don’t have any money, you could find yourself in trouble.

PRESENTER:
Did you know that such things were needed?

NEIGHBOURING MOTHER:
Yes, because I was told in the clinic when my time for delivery was near.

PRESENTER:
Have you seen couples make these kinds of preparations before birth?

NEIGHBOURING MOTHER:
In the village, it is difficult. Many have to give birth at home because of a shortage of money. They don’t have money for transport to the clinic during birth and to come back home. (Sound of cow) They are also afraid of the costs at the clinic. At least the traditional birth attendant can wait for some days for payment.

PRESENTER:
Back to the husband and wife. (Speaking to the couple) There is a common belief that pregnant women should not eat certain types of food. Have you heard of these beliefs in the village?

HUSBAND:
I don’t think there is a kind of food that is bad for the child and the mother, but we were told about some drugs that the mother should not take. Concerning kinds of food that can affect the child, I heard people talking in the village, but the midwife told us to eat the kinds of food we wanted and could get. I have never seen a child affected by food eaten during pregnancy.

PRESENTER:
Wife, have you ever heard of such beliefs that some kinds of food can affect the child?

WIFE:
Yes — I was told not to eat eggs as it will cause the child to be very big. Also, they say that chips can make a child very big and fat. But at the clinic, the midwife told us that these things are not true. She advised us that we should just eat good foods and not worry too much. So, when I get hungry for a particular food, I just eat it. (Producer and wife laughing)

PRESENTER:
Husband, what can you say about taking care of the unseen child?

HUSBAND:
Truly, my experience is that taking care of the unseen child is really difficult. Sometimes the mother is laughing, but that can change within a minute. (Wife and producer laughing)

MUSIC:
SIGNATURE TUNE UP. HOLD 10 SECONDS AND FADE OUT.

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Fifth interview – the seventh month of pregnancy

PRESENTER:
A very important part of preparing for delivery is setting aside funds. Savings are essential in case complications arise, and a couple needs to go to a hospital when labour begins. Saving money is seen as the responsibility of the husband, but women can also do income-generating activities to prepare for delivery.

Characters:
Producer
Husband
Wife
Neighbouring mother

PRESENTER:
We are again with the family from a village in the Arusha region of Tanzania. In today’s programme, we talk about the progress at seven months of pregnancy. How is the husband helping the wife with her duties? How are the preparations coming? Here is the interview.

MUSIC:
SIGNATURE TUNE UP. HOLD 10 SECONDS AND FADE OUT.

PRESENTER:
Mother, please tell us how you feel in this the seventh month of your pregnancy.

WIFE:
I feel very tired and weak. If I walk, I just want to sleep. I sometimes feel backaches or headaches if I walk long distances. I feel very tired, though I am encouraging myself that the end of the journey is near.

PRESENTER:
Are you taking care of yourself or …?

WIFE:
It’s not as it was some time back (producer, husband and wife laughing). Even washing my legs is a hard task (all laughing), but I am encouraging myself. And my husband is helping me a lot.

PRESENTER:
Husband, how do you feel? Are you tired? Is the love decreasing or …?

HUSBAND:
I cannot say that loving my wife is decreasing, for I still love her and the baby which we are expecting.

PRESENTER:
How are you managing to help your wife with responsibilities such as carrying heavy things? Is it a difficult task?

HUSBAND:
In truth, I am managing. Sometimes she tells me, ” I want you to do this or that,” and she normally tells me what she dislikes, and if I sometimes make her feel angry she tells me that she is angry (wife laughing), because maybe I am late cooking the food. (Sound of cow) In this way, I get a lot of help from her, and I don’t worry so much about why she is angry, why she is thinking like this, why she is not eating. Also, I am still learning, because we are in the seventh month of her pregnancy, and I keep the thought in my mind that if anything happens, I have to bear it. (Sound of cow)

PRESENTER:
Wife, how is the baby? Is it playing or moving around?

WIFE:
Eeeh! In the beginning I was afraid when I felt something playing in my stomach because I was not used to it (laughing). So I decided to ask at the clinic, “How is this happening?” Then I was told it is common. I wasn’t used to it, but for this month it’s playing and I am feeling just okay and used to it.

PRESENTER:
Husband, how about you? Were you shocked the first time you heard the baby playing in your wife’s womb?

HUSBAND:
Myself, I felt very good, because it was different than the previous month (sound of cow). In the beginning I was a little bit afraid when I heard my wife say something is playing in my womb. I thought maybe it could play too hard.

PRESENTER:
Mother, what preparations have you made to receive the baby?

WIFE:
Eeeh! We have prepared some things which I will use to receive my baby, but we are still in preparation. We have managed to save some little money these last two months, so that is good. But, if I have a problem, I will have to use that money (all laughing)! But we are planning to save some more money so that we are well prepared for anything in the coming months. (Sound of cow)

PRESENTER:
Father, what are some of the hard challenges, things which make you afraid, with only two months left till your wife delivers the baby?

HUSBAND:
Something which has been a challenge to us is thinking about how we are going to take care of the baby, because the baby needs care and attention –something to eat, something to drink… eeh (hesitating and wife laughing), the baby needs education. He or she will have great needs for many things (sound of cow). But we have faith that he or she will get all of these things that we are thinking about, and because of our good thoughts, we will succeed.

PRESENTER:
Which place do you think will be the best place for delivery? Have you been discussing this?

HUSBAND:
Many are advising us that the hospital is very good. But it is also far, and if the labour pains begin at night, it is difficult to reach there. The midwife at the clinic nearby is also very kind and she has been very caring to my wife, so maybe that is a good place. Truly, we are confused about where we should go for the delivery, but we have decided that it is not good to deliver at home or at the traditional birth attendant’s place. It is not safe because problems can appear suddenly, and the traditional birth attendant does not have the same drugs and equipment that they have at the clinic.

WIFE:
I don’t depend on hospitals completely. But I have faith that, if God has planned it so, I will deliver in a good way. To choose the best hospital will not help; what is needed is just to pray to God that I will deliver safely. I don’t know anything more…

MUSIC:
SIGNATURE TUNE UP. HOLD 10 SECONDS AND FADE OUT.

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Sixth interview – the eighth month of pregnancy

Characters:
Presenter
Husband
Wife
Neighbouring mother

PRESENTER:
Women and men should be encouraged to discuss issues related to pregnancy and childbirth, and specifically issues such as saving funds for delivery, attending the pre-birth or antenatal clinic, caring for the mother during pregnancy, and developing a plan to reach a health facility when labour begins. When these issues are not discussed nor planned beforehand, couples are unprepared for delivery of the baby. The long distances to health facilities and the lack of transport are very difficult obstacles for some pregnant women and married couples, and many do not even consider trying to reach a health facility if labour begins at night.

We are back with the family who are now in their eighth month of pregnancy. What preparations have they made so far? Our producer visited the couple again, and here is their talk.

MUSIC:
SIGNATURE TUNE UP. HOLD 10 SECONDS AND FADE OUT.

PRESENTER:
Mum, tell us what the midwife says about your health in this eighth month of your pregnancy?

WIFE:
My development is good and the baby is playing. But she told me that I have to make sure that I am exercising.

PRESENTER:
What kind of exercise are you doing?

WIFE:
I am just walking some kilometres, not quickly – I am trying to walk slowly.

PRESENTER:
And how is Papa? Is he accompanying you in this exercise?

WIFE:
When he comes home, sometimes we walk together.

PRESENTER:
Papa, I think mum or your wife is tired these days. Are you comfortable walking with her?

HUSBAND:
I am comfortable walking with her. (Sound of cow) Walking with her is not being idle or having nothing to do. If we walk slowly and talk, we feel refreshed when we come home.

PRESENTER:
In this eighth month, there are important plans to make, such as knowing where to deliver and preparing for transportation. How far is it to the hospital?

HUSBAND:
It is about 10 kilometres from our home to the hospital, but the clinic is near – it is only two kilometres from here.

PRESENTER:
Do you have transportation or…?

HUSBAND:
We are expecting to hire transport. I think this will be a big help for us to get to the hospital if we have to go there. There are a few people in the village with a car, and we can call one of them if there is an emergency and we need to go to the hospital.

PRESENTER:
How much money do they charge for the ten kilometres from your home to the hospital?

HUSBAND:
That depends. I think he normally charges fifteen or twenty thousand Tanzanian shillings (Editor’s note: about $11-15 US dollars or 8-11Euros). He can’t charge you more than twenty thousand.

PRESENTER:
Have you prepared that amount of money?

HUSBAND:
Yes, I have prepared that amount and also some money for the delivery – whether it’s at the clinic or at the hospital.

PRESENTER:
Have you prepared food for after your wife’s delivery?

HUSBAND:
I am still in preparation. We have not finished preparation of all the important and needed things yet, but we are preparing. (Sound of cow).

PRESENTER:
Mum, who do you think will help you after you have delivered the baby? Who will be helping you with domestic things such as cooking, cleaning the house and the clothes?

WIFE:
I think everything depends on my husband. He will be close to me, helping me, but also my mother-in-law, because she has never left me alone. She always comes early in the morning, and we can be together for hours. She always asks me if I have any problems. I think she will be able to help me. But mostly, I am depending on my husband.

PRESENTER:
Judging by the time remaining for you to deliver, how do you think the preparation is going?

WIFE:
The preparation is good. We have agreed on what we plan to do when the labour pains start, and we have saved some money, though we are still trying to save more money. We haven’t finished, but we have done something to prepare for this birth.

PRESENTER:
(Speaking to the neighbour) Neighbour mum, you are here with us. Please tell us what important things we should look for with one month remaining. What would you make the first priority?

NEIGHBOURING MOTHER:
The first priority is to go for another clinic check-up so that they can make sure that the baby is in a good position for birth. Another thing is exercise. It’s good to exercise in order to deliver easily. I know you may feel too tired, but you have to force yourself, because by exercising you will deliver easily. Another thing is to make certain you are prepared with money and anything else you might need at the clinic when you go for delivery. The midwife usually advises us on what we should bring.

PRESENTER:
Father, do you have anything to say?

HUSBAND:
I have nothing to add, but I thank God for this month, the eighth month of my wife’s pregnancy. She has been healthy, and that is good. We feel well prepared. Only a few weeks until we have a child – it has been a long journey.

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Seventh interview – the ninth month of pregnancy

Characters:
Presenter
Husband
Wife
Neighbouring mother

PRESENTER:
Couples should discuss issues related to pregnancy and childbirth, and specifically issues such as saving money for delivery, attending the clinic, caring for the mother during pregnancy, and developing a plan to reach a health facility when labour begins. Many couples don’t consider saving money for any complications that may arise. The long distances to health facilities and the lack of transport are very difficult obstacles for some pregnant women and married couples, and many do not even consider trying to reach a health facility if labour begins at night. This is a matter for preparation before delivery

We are back with the family who are now in their ninth month of pregnancy. The couple are expecting the baby at any time. What preparations have they made so far? Our producer visited the couple again, and here is their talk.

PRESENTER:
Mother, we are meeting again in your ninth month of pregnancy, when we have hope that God will give you a baby at any time. Do you have any problems now with your health?

WIFE:
I have had back pains for a long time, but now it is getting worse. Also, I can’t walk very far and I feel tired all the time.

PRESENTER:
Are there any problems with the baby moving?

WIFE:
The baby is moving well. And many times the baby is hungry.

PRESENTER:
How do you know that the baby is hungry?

WIFE:
When I am hungry, the baby is hungry also. And when I try to eat I feel dizzy.

PRESENTER:
What about happiness and anger? Does the baby feel these?

WIFE:
Yes! Baby knows. I don’t know how the baby knows, but the baby stops moving when I am angry, and when I laugh the baby also laughs.

PRESENTER:
Have you been able to prepare and put things in order which are needed?

WIFE:
I have some money, though it’s not enough. I have prepared clothes and some food and I trust that it will be enough.

PRESENTER:
Do you think your parents can help with your preparation?

HUSBAND:
They told us not to rely on them. We have to rely on ourselves because they have their families to care for.

PRESENTER:
You mean that they have not donated anything in preparation for their grandchild?

HUSBAND:
To be honest, nothing. What they are waiting for is their grandchild – only that. Maybe they think that there is no need for them to prepare anything. They just told us to bring the grandchild so that they can see it.

PRESENTER:
There are many kinds of preparation: preparations for the home, for the hospital and for the mother. How are these going now?

HUSBAND:
About preparation at home, it’s okay. For hospital, we have tried to prepare what we were told to plan and we have finished doing that.

PRESENTER:
Perhaps some kinds of preparation are expensive. Can you help the listeners understand how much your preparations will cost?

WIFE:
The cost will depend on where you go for delivery. For example, some hospitals might cost sixty thousand shillings, others might be thirty thousand, and a government hospital is twenty thousand. For an operation, it is one hundred and fifty thousand, and there are other costs such as a bed. I have been told that when you give birth at home, there is no need for money.

PRESENTER:
Women who give birth at home – can they be sure that the baby will be healthy?

WIFE:
Some who have given birth at home say they had no problems. But I have prepared myself with money and will go to the cheaper hospital because I don’t have enough money to go to the expensive hospital.

PRESENTER:
Father, perhaps you think that giving birth at home is better because there is no cost for transport to hospital, for preparing food for the mother, and for transport home. Do you agree?

HUSBAND:
My agreement with my wife is to go to hospital. And we are ready for that. It’s difficult if you don’t prepare yourself but we are ready.

PRESENTER:
Neighbour, we’ve been waiting for this baby now for nine months. What can you say about this very important issue?

NEIGHBOURING MOTHER:
These days we are waiting because at any time, at any minute, the mother can give birth, so the most important thing is transport. You can prepare yourself on how to communicate with those who have transport and help you quickly, but till now we haven’t found anyone and to go to hospital is impossible. If God does his wonders at home we thank him. But we don’t want her to give birth at home because it’s not safe for a baby or a mother. There are a lot of diseases that can arise in delivery and we want as much safety as we can get. Honestly, their plan to go to hospital is good. But they have to keep transport near them at all times.

PRESENTER:
What about you as a family? When the baby comes home, do you have any idea about how to care for it?

WIFE:
Not yet, but I will ask a doctor how to take care of the baby. Also, I have a nice neighbour who has experience, and she can tell me how to do it because it is my first time to have a baby. I believe she will help me.

PRESENTER:
Father, how about you? Do you have any experience in welcoming a baby and take care of it?

HUSBAND:
I don’t. It’s our first time as she says, and I have never carried a baby. People say that a newborn baby is so tiny that, if you carry it without enough care, you can drop it. But I will ask others how to do it.

PRESENTER:
Was there any advice from the doctor while you are waiting during pregnancy?

WIFE:
The doctor told me that the important thing is to prepare myself and to do exercises, and also to listen to make sure the baby is moving. If the baby is not moving, I have to report to the hospital.

PRESENTER:
You have met so many challenges from the first month of pregnancy until now. What can you tell others who are married or who are just getting married now?

WIFE:
Many men stay away from their wives when they are pregnant. They should not do that. They should be like my husband. Men are supposed to help their wives mop and cook. They can help out with the work and clean the kitchen, and not run away from their wives. Running away is not a solution; it increases the problems for their wives. If the wife is angry, it’s because of the baby in the womb. Sometimes a pregnant woman can be angry, feeling some pain, and can’t do hard work.

HUSBAND:
Pregnant women should avoid hard work to make sure they do not abort. Some men take their wives to their mother or mother in-law’s house and they take care of the women. This is not good because mothers also have their own families to care for. A husband has to take responsibility to take care of his wife.

PRESENTER:
Many times, men tell their wives to go to the clinic alone. Mother, what do you say about this?

WIFE:
I go with my husband when he can. If he can’t, it’s okay, but I need his company.

PRESENTER:
Have you heard others talk about their husbands not escorting them to the clinic?

WIFE:
Yes! Nurses say that men are afraid to go because if a woman is pregnant they do a blood test and men dislike being tested. They are not sure whether they are HIV positive. But my husband went and was tested and he is not HIV positive.

PRESENTER:
What is your advice to fathers?

HUSBAND:
I advise them to go with their wives to a clinic. It shows love and care.

PRESENTER:
Pregnant woman get tired every day. How do you help your wife, as even bathing is tough for her, and she can’t bend properly?

HUSBAND:
To be honest, she always asks me to help wash her feet because she can’t bend. I help her to bathe until I am sure she is clean. Truly I do help her.

MUSIC:
SIGNATURE TUNE UP. HOLD 10 SECONDS AND FADE OUT.

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Eighth interview – childbirth

Characters:
Presenter
Husband
Wife
Midwife
Mother-in-law

PRESENTER:
These days, doctors, nurses, and midwives advise that, when a woman is pregnant, she and her family should start preparing themselves for the birth. One of the important preparations is discussing and choosing the best place to deliver the baby. Other important preparations are planning for transport, setting aside some money, and even knowing who can donate blood in case it is needed. While some people think that it will bring bad luck to prepare for childbirth, this is not true. In fact, preparing for childbirth can help ensure that women and their babies get through the birth safely.

You have been following a series of interviews with a young couple aged 23 years and 22 years living in a village near in Arusha, Tanzania. They are self-employed and poor, depending on daily casual work. They have been talking about their progress and preparations for receiving a baby. In today’s talk we will hear what happened during childbirth.

The labour began and the couple went to the hospital. After examining her, the doctor advised the mother that she needed an operation to deliver safely. The couple was worried and scared. But fortunately, all went well, and a healthy baby girl was delivered. The couple is nervous about caring for the child, because they never learned how to take care of a child. They needed advice from the doctor and from their neighbour. But the mother is safe and the child is doing well.

MUSIC:
SIGNATURE TUNE UP. HOLD 10 SECONDS AND FADE OUT.

PPRESENTER:
It has been four weeks since we met and talked about the ninth month of your pregnancy. There were a lot of preparations to make, but today I see you with a loving baby girl. Hi baby, how are you? When did you give birth to the baby?

WIFE:
On the 14th of August 2008 at 2 pm in Selian Hospital.

PRESENTER:
What is her name?

WIFE:
Her name is Linda. Linda is a Swahili name which means “protect.”

PRESENTER:
When did the labour start?

WIFE:
It started after midnight, around 2 am. It was a challenge as we live far from the hospital. I struggled to wait till the morning to avoid the cost, but it was not possible. At 4 am we had to call a driver who charged us and took us to the hospital.

HUSBAND:
Yes, it was very tough. My wife was feeling very bad pain. I called my mum and then she called a midwife. When the midwife came, she advised us that there were some complications, and that my wife should be rushed to the hospital. Then I called for a car.

PRESENTER:
How did you know that it was time for the birth?

WIFE:
The doctor told me the signs of the time for delivery. They say it differs from woman to woman. But this is my experience. I had back pain and abdominal pain the day before I delivered. At midnight, I felt the back pain moving to my stomach. Then I remembered the doctor’s advice about the signs. I told my husband to look for a car. I went to the bathroom and bathed. When the pains went away, I fell into a heavy sleep. When I woke up, I didn’t have any pains and I just continued with my work. But after an hour the pain started again. It continued like that – coming and going, coming and going. And in the early morning we rushed to the hospital for more help.

PRESENTER:
How did you get to the hospital?

WIFE:
My husband is sharp and loves me. He just called his friend and he came with a car and we went to the hospital. It was costly, but we had prepared some money which really helped us.

We have been making preparations for almost nine months. But when the doctor said I needed an operation, I was worried as I didn’t have enough money for the operation.

PRESENTER:
What happened in the hospital?

HUSBAND:
I didn’t think my wife would be operated on. But the doctor said if I refused, the mother and child would be in danger. The doctors told me that we had to save their lives. They asked me if I wanted to talk to my wife before the operation and I said yes. So I went to my wife and kissed her and prayed for her. I also prayed for the baby in the womb. They took her to the operating room. Then I prayed to God. I said, “God, I don’t want to lose my wife. You have to bring her back to me. I also need a healthy, living child.” I kept on praying and praying and praying. I waited for almost two hours. Then I saw someone pulling a bed towards another ward. I ran toward the bed and it was my wife sleeping peacefully. They told me not to worry – they were both okay. One nurse was carrying my baby girl Linda. She is beautiful.

PRESENTER:
How did you feel when you got your baby?

HUSBAND:
I felt really encouraged. I thanked God for giving me a child. It was a joyful moment after two hours of crying. My wife was not conscious at that time, but they told me she would wake up after one hour.

PRESENTER:
Do you know how to take care of the child?

HUSBAND:
I didn’t know, but I just held her gently and made sure that she could lie on her mother’s breast, though the mother was still unconscious. It just came automatically.

PRESENTER:
How did you help your wife during that time?

HUSBAND:
I made sure they got enough food and warm clothes and I was very close to them, showing love and care as a father.

PRESENTER:
Mother-in-law, you were very far away during the pregnancy, but you are close at the time of birth. Why?

OTHER-IN-LAW:
It’s our culture. We are not allowed to come to the young couple when they are married because this is my son. But during the delivery, I am allowed to hold the baby and cook for my son’s wife. I can teach her how to take care of the child – how to wash the baby, dress the baby, and other important things. Sometimes the baby cries a lot or doesn’t sleep at night during the first three months. I have to help with that. This is the firstborn baby for this mother and she doesn’t know much about taking care of the baby. So I am responsible for helping.

PRESENTER:
Did you teach her how to take care of the child?

MOTHER-IN-LAW:
No. I have been waiting for her to give birth first. It is the right time to do so now. She will understand easily.

PRESENTER:
The journey was long from the first month to the ninth month. All in all, the couple learned a lot from neighbours, the clinic and other sources. They made a lot of preparations, including clothes for the baby, money for food, treatment, and transport, and other important things. The result was very good as the amount they saved helped them a lot. They didn’t expect the mother to need an operation, but that was needed to rescue the baby and the mother. And now they have a beautiful baby girl.

Acknowledgements

Contributed by: Lazarus Laiser, Radio Habari Maalum, Arusha, Tanzania.
Reviewed by: Ellen Brazier, Anglophone Africa Program Director, Family Care International.