Becoming Good Mothers: Maternal Health and Nutrition During the First 1000 Days

Following Women’s Experiences Between Guatemala and the USA

This project aims to bring attention to the ways in which Guatemalan women practice small forms of resistance, resilience and agency in order to become “good” mothers who have “healthy” pregnancies, specifically through the utilization, adaptation, and accumulation of knowledge and care for both maternal health and maternal nutrition.  

By undertaking long-term ethnographic fieldwork, I aim to uncover the intricacies and complexities that surround Guatemalan women’s interactions with various political, economic and socio-cultural forces that surround them as they work towards managing their pregnancies in order to ensure they experience a healthy birth and give birth to healthy babies. Specifically, this project will aim to tease apart the intricacies that surround the ways in which Guatemalan women access maternal health and maternal nutrition programs following the aims of the First Thousand Days (FTD) initiative in Guatemala and Los Angeles USA, how this care reifies or upends their conceptions of becoming good mothers who receive “good” maternal care and make “good” nutritional choices, and how their interactions with these programs speak to their experiences with biopolitical health directives, state and interpersonal violence, reproductive justice, biological citizenship, gender inequality and gender expectations as marginalized transnational citizens.