Empowering Change: Shaneen Sheikh’s Inspirational Journey in Maternal and Child Healthcare Advocacy


Shaneen Sheikh’s (name changed) journey in Nehru Nagar slum became an inspiring case study for the dedicated team working on maternal and child healthcare. At 27 years old, Shaneen lived a modest life with her husband and children in a rented house, with her husband being the sole breadwinner for the family. It was during her second pregnancy that she enrolled with us in our healthcare program aimed at supporting pregnant women and new mothers in the slum.

Throughout her pregnancy, the healthcare team diligently visited Shaneen’s house, providing her with essential prenatal care and educating her about the significance of exclusive breastfeeding for her newborn. Shaneen seemed committed and assured the team that she was following their instructions carefully.

In November, Shaneen gave birth to her baby, and the team continued their regular visits. However, during one visit in April, Shaneen informed the team that she had visited Cooper Hospital and obtained the necessary medicine for her baby’s condition. However, she also revealed that her family had started giving complementary feeding to the baby, contrary to their earlier advice on exclusive breastfeeding.

The team didn’t lose hope and persisted in educating Shaneen about the significance of exclusive breastfeeding until the baby reached six months of age. They explained the potential risks of introducing solid foods too early and the benefits of breast milk for the baby’s overall health and development. Shaneen, despite her family’s pressure, promised the team that she would not initiate any complementary feeding until her baby completed six months.

Shaneen’s determination to prioritize her baby’s health and follow the team’s guidance even amidst familial pressures impressed the healthcare workers. Her willingness to embrace change and learn about better healthcare practices made her a role model for other mothers in the community.

The success story of Shaneen Sheikh and her baby became an example of how education, persistence, and genuine care can make a significant difference in the lives of vulnerable families. The healthcare program in Nehru Nagar slum continued its mission, inspired by Shaneen’s journey, to improve maternal and child healthcare outcomes in the community.