Relationships between mothers-in-law and their daughters-in-law are not always easy. In Bangladesh, where traditionally young brides can quickly become almost servants of their mothers-in-law, these difficult relationships lead to particular stresses. LAMB is working with a wholistic health approach to bring some fun into those relationships through what is called in Bangla bou-shashuri mela, or “daughter/mother-in-law fair” in which young husbands also participate. They perform songs, participate in games, and compete in quizzes related to reproductive health, of course receiving prizes. The fair gives them an opportunity to see each others’ skills and gifts through enjoying a relaxed time together.
As part of its program to prevent pre-term births, LAMB’s “Born on Time” project addresses “LINC” factors, which include lifestyle, infection, nutrition, and contraception. This project, in partnership with Plan International, is also implemented in other countries where infections such as malaria and HIV more commonly impact pregnancy. However, in Bangladesh, ‘lifestyle’ factors include the heavy workload of young pregnant women, as well as other abuses which sometimes result from their powerless position in the household. The fair also teaches about the risk factors for pre-term birth, using visuals such as the photo below to highlight how common the problem is, and to motivate change.