Maternal & Newborn Health

SNEHA's Maternal and Newborn Health (MNH) program seeks to improve pregnancy care for low-income women by working with both the public healthcare system and the communities.
Working with the public healthcare system: works with public hospitals to map and establish referral networks and promote appropriate care for women with potential complications. SNEHA also collaborates with municipal health posts to standardize primary ante and post-natal services and build capacity of their outreach workers.
Educating vulnerable slum communities: Through home visits, community meetings, and formation of community health committees, SNEHA engages pregnant mothers and their families to promote utilization of public services for mothers and newborns and improve their knowledge of ante- and post-natal danger signs, maternal nutrition, appropriate child feeding practice, and family planning methods.

Impact to Date

Over the last five years (2009 - 2014),

  • Assisted at least 21,401 pregnant women with potential complications through SNEHA-initiated referral networks.
  • Reached out to nearly 4,458 pregnant women through home visits, providing periodic counselling during pregnancy and after childbirth.
  • Trained over 3,000 public healthcare providers (cumulative) on clinical aspects of maternal and neonatal care and effective communication.
  • Trained over 2,900 government outreach workers (cumulative) to address maternal and neonatal health in communities.


  • Recognized as official partner of the State Government of Maharashtra and Municipal Corporations of Greater Mumbai, Thane, Kalyan Dombivali and Mira Bhayander.
  • Appointed as NGO representative on the committee for implementation of Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act in Mira Bhayander.

The Model

The MNH program uses Appreciative Inquiry approach to facilitate positive changes within public healthcare systems. It works simultaneously with slum communities to create a base of well-informed healthcare users who constantly demand higher quality.

From the Field

Sushila, 40, suffers from dwarfism and has a mentally challenged son. She was 5 months into her second pregnancy when her sister-in-law told her to undergo an abortion, thinking that her next child will also be mentally challenged. SNEHA's field worker met Sushila and her sister-in-law, explained the risk of abortion in the 5th month, and urged Sushila to receive antenatal checkups. When the field worker found it difficult to convince Sushila and her family, she sought the help of her colleagues to persuade them. Finally, the field worker managed to get Sushila to visit a public hospital, where the doctor informed her that the child was going to be perfectly normal. Due to her short stature, the doctor referred Sushila to a tertiary center of care for delivery, where she delivered a healthy boy. SNEHA saved yet another life.