Caring Services


RomaniaSINCE 25/03/2013

“SAMAS” [Sanatate pentru Mame si Sugari, which means Health for Mothers and Babies] is a network of perinatal educators in Romania who help pregnant women and new mothers make informed choices about nutrition and infant care.

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Last update of this page: 2023.04.27

Tackling Local Challenges: Understanding the Issue

The first 1,000 days offer a unique window of opportunity to build a foundation for a healthier life. According to UNICEF, 80% of the infant mortality can be prevented through education of parents.

Yet, back in 2013 Romania was facing several challenges to encourage breastfeeding at national level: a mix perception of breastfeeding, lack of breastfeeding support, practices in maternities not aligned with the World Health Organization recommendations, very little recognition of midwives and limited training on perinatal education. 

This has lead to: 

  • 7/10 of Romanian mothers stated they were not trained on exclusive breastfeeding
  • Only 13% of babies were exclusively breastfed at 6 months of age
  • Infant mortality rate twice as high as EU average
  • 37% C section rate

Introducing the Coalition: A Unified Front for Change

With the support of Danone Ecosystem, Early Life Nutrition Romania and Red Cross Romania co-created the SAMAS project. In Romanian SAMAS stands for: Sanatate pentru Mame si Sugari, which means Health for Mothers and Babies. 

A New Model for Progress: The Project's Vision

The project has developed a network of Perinatal Educators, who receive both medical and entrepreneurship training, as well as assistance in establishing their professional activities. After receiving the proper trainings, they can then help mothers make informed choices about nutritional and perinatal care for themselves and their babies.

Benefits for the Whole Ecosystem [2022 project impact] 

The project has functioned independently since 2016, and has contributed to significantly improving the health and quality of life for pregnant women, new mothers, and their babies. To date, the project has had several positive impact: 

Professional empowerment:

  • 2200+ perinatal educators trained, 
  • First and only national perinatal network covering the full journey of the first 1000 days
  • SAMAS helped to increase the perinatal educators rcognition among the Romanian society. 

Parents empowerment:

  • 36,000+ mothers and young parents supported
  • 44% of them are from a vulnerable social background
  • Increased confidence about breastfeeding: “I don’t know how I would have managed breastfeeding without SAMAS“ – Urban mother



  • Nanu M., Stativa E.. 2020. Qualitative socio-anthropological study on breastfeeding and nutrition of the
    child up to 6 months. Bucharest: National Institute for Mother and Child Health ”Alessandrescu-Rusescu”
  • UNICEF Policy Brief, 2021 Action Lines to Promote Breastfeeding in Romania. Available online: https://uni.


in co-funding


Nurses trained on perinatal education


Mothers and young parents supported


Humans of ecosystem

Gavrila Izabel Gavrila

Perinatal educator