A community-based solution
With help from the Global Challenges Research Fund, we’re exploring a nutritional intervention – using a traditional food to improve pregnancy experiences and newborn health.
Working with Andalas University staff, local healthcare providers, community members and farmers, we’re recruiting 200 pregnant women and giving them a weekly supplement of dadih – a local buffalo milk yoghurt rich in energy, protein and calcium. The women’s data is being collected throughout pregnancy, up until six weeks after birth.
So far, the project has been successful. Data collection is ongoing, but early stage findings indicate a positive trend towards higher gestational weight gain. The intervention has been accepted by the pregnant women and the wider community, and heads of local government have pledged their support.
The project is also having a positive impact on agriculture and the local economy. It’s helping to revitalise the nutritional and cultural status of a traditional food, and create more work for buffalo farmers.
Our next step is to scale up the study to further evaluate its impact. We’re currently exploring expansion to a larger, multi-site project with colleagues in America and Ghana, with the aim of helping more vulnerable mothers and their babies lead healthier, longer lives.
Hora Soltani is a Professor in Maternal and Infant Health within Health and Social Care Research. An important feature of Hora's midwifery research is its diverse nature and collaborations with a wide range of disciplines (including Design and Technology, Health Psychology, Food and Nutrition Sciences, Obstetrics and Health Inequalities) whilst retaining a thematic integrity with the core aim of enhancing care standards and reducing health inequalities for mothers and their babies.