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The story behind the photo: Trinidad and Tobago

“Breast is best”

Watching my daughter breastfeeding my grandson who is just a couple weeks old, snuggled in the warmth and comfort of her arms and bosom, reminds me of how immaculate motherhood can be and how beautiful it is to see my grandson safe. Being a first time mom, she is enjoying a special moment of breastfeeding for the first time in her life.  She feels safe knowing that her baby is enjoying a scrumptious meal of the healthiest brew: No artificial flavorings, no additives, no preservatives, just the healthiest drink in the world – breast milk, all natural. My daughter is definitely practicing safe motherhood as she knows that breast milk is best for my grandson for his growth and development.

Photographer: Clare Burgess, Trinidad

The story behind the photo: Suriname

“Eating healthy”

Since children are God’s gift, what better way is there to keep them safe than to feed them healthy food. This mother of 30 already has a son of 5 and is now expecting her second child. Fruits and vegetables are a very important part of her daily meal and she is teaching her son to enjoy them also. She says that you can never start too early. In this picture she is buying fresh vegetables and fruits for today at the market place next door.

Photographer: Clint Jessurun, Suriname

The history behind the photo: Peru

“Resting”

There are more stars in the universe than grains of sand on all the beaches on earth. It is so incredible to contemplate the gift of life generated by the natural feeling of the sacred. This emotion could be enough to stop wars and violence.

The gift of life, passed from mother to child since the beginning of time, is the heart of the concept of civilization, where solidarity, generosity, cooperation and reciprocity are central themes. In this photo taken outside of the city of Iquitos, Perú, on the border of the Amazon River, I want to celebrate the bond between mothers and children that generates peace, harmony and possible futures.

Photographer: Ferdinando Pisani, Perú

The story behind the photo: Paraguay

“Emma playing”

Emma is a few months old, in the hospital for severe acute respiratory symptoms. After intensive treatment, she has moved to the children’s ward, where she is able to receive more attention from her mother, who gives her all her dedication and care.

She is so humble and timid that she did not wish to appear in the photo. This expression of unity between Emma and her mother was a profound inspiration to the photographer, who couldn’t resist capturing the image.

Photographer: Marcos Yorke, Paraguay

The story behind the photo: Panama

“Priority on the bus”

Establishing special places for pregnant women and mothers with babies in the current public transportation system is important for safe motherhood.

In this image we see the use of selected focus and the color of the child’s hat to center the gaze on the young mother and her child; the observation that the young woman is in the preferential area reserved for disabled people, aging populations or mothers gives faith that there is a priority given to the safety of mothers.

Photographer: Ernesto Ariel González Valdés, Panamá

The story behind the photo: Nicaragua

“Brooks of the Coco River”

Health has no barriers. Here is a mother who is going by raft in search of medical attention, from the Walaquitan health post of San Andrés, in the company of her spouse, children and horse, from the misquita indigenous community on the banks of the Coco River in the municipality of Wiwilí  – Jinotega.

Photographer: Maria de Jesus Rios Espinoza, SILAIS Jinotega, Nicaragua

The story behind the photo: Mexico

“Dignified Motherhood”

Pascuala Gómez Santiz is 32 years old and from the municipality San Andrés Larrainzar in the Altos region in the state of Chiapas. She speaks the Sotsil language.

Pascuala and her partner were able to choose to plan their family; she is proud to show off her second planned pregnancy. This is an example of Safe Motherhood in indigenous communities in Mexico.

Photographer: Cecilia Monroy Cuevas, México

The story behind the photo: Jamaica

“Safe Mother – Mother Breastfeeding Baby”

The winner of the Safe Motherhood Photo competition in Jamaica is a mother lovingly breastfeeding her newborn baby. She demonstrates the importance of being relaxed and happy during breastfeeding to ensure good let down of milk. She also has a glass of water beside her to drink. She gazes with joy and pride at her baby girl who responds accordingly, fostering the closeness and bonding between mother and baby that is one of the benefits of breastfeeding. Mother obviously knows the importance of breastfeeding and is ensuring that her baby gets the best start to a healthy and happy life.

Photographer: Lisa Thompson

The story behind the photo: Honduras

“Economically poor, rich in maternal love”

A Lenca women breastfeeds her newborn in the San Manuel de Colohete municipality of the Lempira Department in western Honduras. This community has a high rate of poverty and descendants of indigenous people represent 70% of the population, with the rest being mestizo. The municipality is located in the middle of a mountain, with very steep and irregular surrounding hills and mountains. As for vegetation, pine and oak forests can be found on some mountains, while others have sub-tropical dry forests and others only shrubs. The climate is temperate, with the exception being summer. Logging does not occur on this mountaintop. The villages and communities are located in large hollows around the top of the mountain.

Photographer: Gustavo Raúl Amador, Honduras

The story behind the photo: Haiti

“Free Obstetric Care”

Haitian health institutions are paid to offer pregnant women free childbirth and care before and after birth as part of the SOG (free obstetric care) program. The project is part of wider efforts to reduce maternal and neonatal mortality, to increase access to health services, and to improve the capacity of institutions to provide quality care.

Photographer: Stephane Grandvaux, Haiti