Hearing some bad news surrounding one’s birth can be quite devastating to a growing child.
Pregnancy is an important part of marriage in many cultures; it can be a source of hope and happiness for many families.
Unfortunately like every race not all pregnant women get to the finish line. Some give their lives in exchange for their children while others fatally run out of luck. So, they can’t save their lives own and their newborns.
The duo cases are bad obstetric (pregnancy) outcomes. This fatal experience is therefore called maternal mortality. In Medical Profession, quite a number of pregnancy related deaths could have been prevented or avoided if only the needful was done earlier. This article is written to enlighten our readers on how to prevent this awful situation.
WHAT IS MATERNAL MORTALITY?
This is the death of a pregnant woman during pregnancy or within 42 weeks of termination of pregnancy, irrespective of the duration and site of pregnancy. This cuts across any cause which is related to or aggravated by pregnancy, how it was handled before getting to the hospital or in the hospital.
About 295,000 women died during and following pregnancy and childbirth in 2017, and about 94% occurred in low resource settings and most outcomes could have been prevented.
THREE LEVELS OF DELAY THAT CAN CAUSE MATERNAL MORTALITY
1. Delay in deciding to seek care: This is majorly affected by the level of education, socioeconomic status, and cultural beliefs. Many pregnant women do not see need to register for antenatal in first trimester until pregnancy reached advanced level. This is a bad approach and must be frowned at because as an expectant mother, you are putting your life and that of the unborn child at risk.
2. Delay in reaching the healthcare facility: This implies the mode of transportation and means.
3. Delay in receiving care at the health care facility: This is often caused by the man power, infrastructure and behavior of the health care workers.
CAUSES OF MATERNAL MORTALITY
- Obstetric Hemorrhage: Excessive bleeding during or 42 days after pregnancy.
- Infections: These are diseases caused by bacterial or virus.
- Unsafe abortion: This is the termination of pregnancy by unskilled personnel or in an environment of lower medical standard.
- Hypertension (high blood pressure) in pregnancy
- Obstructed labour: This is when baby cannot pass beyond pelvis of the mother due to an obstruction caused either by the size of the baby or small size of maternal (mothers) pelvis.
- Ectopic pregnancy: Pregnancy that got implanted outside the uterus.
- Embolism: Sudden blockage of an artery.
- Anaemia: https://www.healthgist.net/this-is-why-pregnant-women-have-anaemia/
- Malaria: WHO recommends that malaria in pregnancy should not be taken with kid-gloves but be considered a potential threat to successful pregnancy outcome.
HOW TO PREVENT MATERNAL MORTALITY
- Antenatal care: This ensures early diagnosis and treatment of illnesses. It is also important for preventing several pregnancies associated complications.
- Deliveries by skilled personnel: This helps in the prevention of complications of labour. Do not allow your delivery to be handled by a quack.
- Nutritional Interventions: They are said to be effective to prevent anaemia. This is achieved through the intake of haematinics/ routine antenatal drugs.
- Behavioural change: This change includes cultural and religious beliefs with life style modifications. This could be achieved by health education and this improves the health seeking behavior of women. This is especially important in Africa where a lot of people still don’t believe in western medicine
Dr Odusanya Bilikisu Oluwaseun, is a medical doctor and a graduate of Olabisi Onabanjo university, Ogun state, Nigeria.
She is a poet, reader and researcher, with keen interest in Global health, and management with emphasis on how these affects maternal and child health.
She has a good qualitative and quantitative data analysis skills. A high standing academic track record, and communicates fluently in English, Yoruba, and Hausa.