A first time mother's lifeline | #speakup barometer | Kenya | DW | 09.01.2019
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#speakup barometer | Kenya

A first time mother's lifeline

First-time mother Phylis relied on the internet for prenatal advice and information during her pregnancy. Now that she’s a busy mom, she still goes online to find answers to all her child development questions.

#speakup barometer Kenya

The next doctor being 60 kilometers away, the Internet is the go-to source for first-time mother Phylis Mudaida.

From Kenya to Canada becoming a mother and caring for a newborn can be a daunting journey filled with questions. For Phylis Mudaida, a young, first-time mother cut off from vital medical services, the Internet made the experience easier. Ever since conceiving, her dependence on the Internet has increased exponentially as she began researching every stage of pregnancy and prenatal care. Using her phone to browse the Internet helped her to debunk many of the myths surrounding pregnancy. Now that she is a mother, she continues to research the stages of infant development, and find answers to any unforeseen challenges that arise. 

Before I conceived, I was online, but mainly using Facebook and WhatsApp to chat with friends. However, after conceiving I had to rely on the Internet for all my questions or concerns. This is because I live in a rural area, and I have to travel about 60 kilometers to consult a doctor. Using Internet resources helped to answer so many questions I had and minimized my fears quite a lot. In addition to researching, I joined groups of pregnant women on both Facebook and WhatsApp, I could post my questions and members would answer with instant solutions based on their experience. Some of the group members are also medics and could respond from a professional point of view. I’m glad that I have influenced many women in my rural village; now they’re also keen on using the Internet for research. The main challenge is that internet bundles subscriptions have become very expensive. Also, in this region we only have Safaricom as the main Internet service provider unlike in town where there are so many other service providers such as Orange and Airtel, which offer cheaper Internet bundles.