Title

Mothers’ experiences of applying into their caregiving practices ECD knowledge learned through midwife counselling sessions

Date of Award

2021

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Master of Philosophy in Education

Department

Institute for Educational Development, Karachi

Abstract

Contexts like Pakistan need multisector health and education initiatives and parent programs for optimal development of children under three years old (Lancet, 2016; United Nations, 2008). This study builds on an intervention project supported by an Aga Khan University Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) Grant which is a unique collaboration between health and education practitioners (Pardhan, et. al, 2021). Through this intervention, midwives have been trained to integrate into their clinical practice ECD knowledge on health, nutrition, responsive caregiving, early learning and safety and security, which are five recommended components in the Nurturing Care Framework (WHO, 2018). The intervention’s aim was to educate parents of children under three years old about ECD and ways to enhance their caregiving practice for optimal development (Pardhan, et. al, 2021). Thus, recognising the importance of parent programs through an integrated approach, this study has explored mothers’ experiences of applying into their caregiving practices ECD knowledge which they learned through midwife counselling sessions. In this qualitative exploratory study, data were collected through semi-structured interviews with four mothers and analysed through thematic analysis. Findings revealed that the mothers appreciated the ECD counselling and felt the counselling enhanced their ECD understanding and parenting practices, particularly with regards to responsive caregiving and early learning. The mothers felt that all parents, especially new mothers, require ECD knowledge, for the betterment of the child’s future. This study highlights the significance of and dire need for parent support programs for optimal ECD in contexts like Pakistan. As mothers already visit hospitals or clinics and receive knowledge during pregnancy, post-pregnancy and for their child’s well-being, this study shows that the healthcare system is an appropriate platform for providing ECD education to mothers, parents and caregivers. The study raises implications for integrating holistic ECD into midwifery education, multi-sector collaboration in higher education institutions, and multisector ECD policies.

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