Instruction and affection transform the lives of pregnant women

Baby Citizen program underlines just how the LBV cares for Life right from its conception.

Leila Marco

Wednesday | November 19, 2014 | 10:31 AM | Last update: September 22, 2016, 4:07 PM (Brasilia time)

Motherhood is a rich experience that marks the lives of women, but it also implies changes in lifestyle, given the new responsibilities imposed by the role of being a mother. If a certain common insecurity in this phase were not enough, the Brazilian reality shows that many pregnant women still have no access to quality medical monitoring and the material resources necessary for looking after the baby.

Vivian R. Ferreira

For this reason, in 15 of its units throughout Brazil the Legion of Good Will (LBV) offers pregnant women and mothers with children up to the age of one  coming from families living in situation of vulnerability, material resources and guidance by means of its Baby Citizen program. The women attend courses, workshops, and educational talks on childcare and about the importance of family ties, among other topics. In the final stage, the mothers also receive a specially prepared kit for them and a layette for the baby.

Jussara dos Santos, who was assisted by the program in 2014 in the city of Florianópolis, Brazil, said: “In the LBV I learned a lot of things, like how to look after the baby and the importance of breastfeeding. In the handicraft workshops I learned how to make pottery objects and little towels.” According to Jussara, the lessons she learned on the course will be passed on to her son. “I hope he will be someone who encourages people to do Good, because this is the spirit of the LBV, to form good citizens. I want my son to study, work hard, and honor his commitments.”

Vivian R. Ferreira

Michele Silva*, 28, mother of Mateus, Juliana, and Igor, remembered what her life was like before taking part in the program: “I was depressed. I couldn’t work. I used to just cry. I only stayed indoors because I didn’t want to go out during my pregnancy. . . . I almost lost my baby. I had to be hospitalized for almost a month before having him. I wasn’t accepting my baby.”

After the program, Michele started seeing motherhood in a different way: “I’m deeply grateful to the LBV. I had depression and the LBV’s team helped me a lot. With the talks and the help I got from the social worker I felt like having my son and I realized that it wasn’t a bit like what I was thinking.  The LBV helped me see that I can work, meet up with other people... Now I’m really happy.”

What Michele learned was soon put into practice in looking after her children, including the breastfeeding technique. “I’m a mother who’s seen it all before, but I didn’t know how to breastfeed correctly. I learned everything that had to do with the baby: how to give him a bath, how to deal with colic; it was all new to me.”

Vivian R. Ferreira

All the work carried out by the Legion of Good Will is done thanks to the financial and/or voluntary help of people. We invite you to help us maintain this work! Visit and make an online donation via the LBV of the United States website.

* Fictitious names were used to preserve the identity of the woman assisted and her children.