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The Gift of a Reflective Question

Reflective questioning is an alternative approach to educating and informing mothers. While the goal of 
educating and informing is to increase knowledge; the goal of reflective questioning is to empower mothers
to use knowledge for their personal benefit.  

The World Bank defines empowerment as the ability to make choices and transform those choices into desired 
actions and outcomes.  A good reflective question begins a conversation that leads the  mother through a process 
of getting from information to action to outcome. A reflective conversation opens opportunity for the mother to 
think about and articulate:

1)    What she wants (If this pregnancy turned out perfectly, what would it look like?);

2)    What she's got (What have you tried?  How have you been able to cope? How is  that working for you? What's 
       missing? Who can help? Since you've been pregnant, how are you stronger?)

3)   What's next (You say you're at 3 now, what will it take to get to 4? What might be a first step? How will you 
      know you're ready?)                                    

As one parent educator explained, "Parents have their own answers. We just need to ask questions to get them 
thinking."

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