Our member in Romania acts for Ukraine mothers & children


The ongoing conflict and resulting humanitarian crisis in Ukraine has had a devastating impact on the mental and physical health of mothers and their children, on both those who have fled and those who have stayed behind.

This is an especially acute issue because most of the people who have left the country are women and children (EU Solidarity Strategy to respond to the Ukraine crisis policy paper, Social Platform). MMM’s grass roots member, Mame Pentru Mame, based in Romania, has reported on the effect on mothers who have fled, and what they need as a matter of urgency. The organization is qualified to speak on this issue given Romania is a country that has received a large influx of Ukrainian refugees and has therefore been at the frontline of witnessing the struggles of mothers.

In terms of the impact on physical health, Mame Pentru Mame reports that the Ukrainian mothers they are helping, are in urgent need of pregnancy follow-ups, delivery and breastfeeding support. This lack of access to breastfeeding support and counseling has made it necessary for many babies to be fed formula milk which limits mothers’ choices about how they want to feed their child.

In Romania, there are local initiatives to help Ukrainian women who give birth as refugees. However, the National Immunization Program for Romanian Infants does not cover neonatal vaccines for these infants. This means that parents need to buy the vaccines, which are administered by pediatricians.

Mame Pentru Mame also reports that it isn’t only the physical health of mothers and children that is affected. Their mental health and wellbeing is compromised too. Refugee mothers are not just at an elevated risk of developing mental health issues due to barriers to healthcare, as pointed above, but also face high rates of exposure to sexual violence.1

According to the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants and the American Psychological Association, the traumatic events that refugee children experience can have severe and long-lasting impacts, including PTSD and the fear that their loved ones will be lost or persecuted. The discrimination, language barriers and lack of education refugee children may face in their host countries only serve to aggravate these potential mental health impacts2.

These are all problems that have affected Romanian mothers for years…now Ukrainian mothers are affected too given they have sought refuge in Romania.

Safe medical abortion is legal in Romania but very difficult to get in public hospitals because many have made a commitment not to perform this medical procedure due to the personal beliefs of the physicians.

[1] Bruno, W. J., Tringale, K. R., & Al-Delaimy, W. K. (2020). Mental health and access to care among refugee mothers relocated to San Diego: A Comparative Study of Iraqi and Somali Refugee Communities. Journal of International Humanitarian Action, 5(1).
[2] Khan, E. (2019, July 23). Mental health challenges and interventions for refugee children. American Psychological Association. Retrieved June 10, 2022.

Most read articles

MMM welcomes first ever Human Rights Council resolution on Care


UN Geneva, Human Rights Council - Entitled ‘Centrality of care and support from a human rights perspective’, this landmark resolution was presented by the governments of Argentina, Iceland, Mexico

Lire plus

A snapshot of our Women at the Peace Table Conference


It was by all accounts, a remarkable gathering of global peacemakers. They came from all over the world to lend their voice and support to the message of the Conference:

Lire plus

Call to action: make 2024 the EU year for Women’s Mental Health


In June this year, the European Union (EU) Commission announced a new high-priority initiative to address the mental health of all Europeans.

Lire plus
See all the articlesof the category

News from the MMM European Delegation

Mothers Can-Bringing mothers back to work


MMM is working on the project “Mothers Can-Bringing mothers back to work”, a European partnership between six countries (Belgium, Cyprus, Germany, Romania, Spain and Greece). The project aims to support mot

Read more

Breaking the intergenerational cycle of poverty by investing in children and their families


Make Mothers Matter participated in the conference “Investing in an inclusive and fair future for Europe. European Child Guarantee: from engagement to reality", organised within the framework of the Belgian p

Read more

La Hulpe Declaration: positive step for social justice in the EU


MMM welcomes the recent adoption of La Hulpe Declaration, under the Belgian presidency. This inter-institutional document aims at shaping the future social agenda of the European Union for the period 2024-2029.

Read more

Every mother should have access to the long-term care she needs and deserves


In a timely joint statement, we at Make mothers Matter, along with 16 European NGOs, have urged EU policymakers to prioritise long-term care in the upcoming 2024-2029 legislature. This call comes as the Belgian

Read more

Empowering Families for a Better Tomorrow Insights from We Learn Everywhere Conference


This event, marked by insightful presentations and discussions, addressed the challenges and opportunities that exist in parenting within our complex society and highlighted the tools created to provide parents

Read more

Parental tools for mental wellbeing: join us in Brussels to find out the results


The "We Learn Everywhere" (WLE) project is a pioneering initiative that has made significant strides in promoting family well-being through education and support for parents and children across Europe. As this

Read more