The war in Ukraine is forcing millions of people, including pregnant women and women with
babies, to leave their country and seek refuge far from their homes. They are all fleeing
experiences that produce social and psychological wounds which, if not managed in a timely
fashion, can seriously affect the long-term health and well-being of people and reduce their
capacity to look after themselves and their loved ones. In the case of pregnant women and
women with babies, the implications of this are especially far-reaching.
The response to the crisis has been overwhelming and has been made possible by the decisionof
governments to open their frontiers to refugees with or without visas, and this is being
facilitated everyday by the outpouring of help from thousands of volunteers, health and social
workers and host families in these countries.
Because many of these helpers may have little experience dealing with situations of this kind,
these PRACTICAL GUIDELINES have been produced to support them in their work. They build
on a long body of experience dealing with the psychosocial impact of conflicts and natural
disasters and the needs of the people caught up in them. This set of guidelines focuses on
pregnant women and women with babies and brings together a body of knowledge on
maternal and young child health gained in many low-income, conflict and refugee settings.
The guidelines are not meant to be prescriptive, but rather seek to provide ideas on how to
respond to what are likely to be new circumstances, new questions and new demands.