Approximately 810 women die every day from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth.
94% of all maternal deaths occur in low and lower middle-income communities and countries.
The number daily increases and will continue if proper knowledge is not disseminated to help pregnant and expectant mothers.
This article seek s to enlighten you on major facts you need to know about maternal health.
What is Maternal Health?
Maternal health refers to the health of women during pregnancy, childbirth and the postnatal period.
Each stage should be a positive experience, ensuring women and their babies reach their full potential for health and well-being.
Although important progress has been made in the last two decades, about 295 000 women died during and following pregnancy and childbirth in 2017. This number is unacceptably high (WHO)
The three main components of the maternal healthcare delivery system include
- Skill birth attendant (SBA)
- Enabling environment (EE)
- Referral system (RS).
Why Maternal Health is Important?
Good maternal health care and nutrition are important contributors to child survival; maternal infections and other poor conditions often contribute to indices of neonatal morbidity and mortality (including stillbirths, neonatal deaths and other adverse clinical outcomes)
What Are The Causes of Maternal Deaths?
As we have stated from the statistics above, the number of maternal deaths are increasing.
Here are some of the most common direct causes of maternal injury and death:
- Heart disease.
- Unsafe abortion
- Obstructed labor
- Excessive blood loss
- High blood pressure.
Simply surviving pregnancy and childbirth can never be the marker of successful maternal health care.
It is critical to expand efforts reducing maternal injury and disability to promote health and well-being.
What are the factors influencing maternal health?
Maternal health is influenced by factors such as:
- Individual factors such as maternal age, parity, education and marital status
- Household factors including family size and household wealth
- Community factors including socioeconomic status, community health infrastructure, region, rural/urban residence, available health facilities.
Are Maternal Deaths Preventable?
Most maternal deaths are preventable with timely management by a skilled health professional working in a supportive environment.
Ending preventable maternal death must remain at the top of the global agenda.
How Can Maternal Health be Promoted?
Every pregnancy and birth is unique.
To be able to promote maternal health, here are some of the strategic guides that will help:
- Proper sensitization of women on what and why thy should take care of their health during and after pregnancy.
- Addressing inequalities that affect health outcomes, especially sexual and reproductive health and rights and gender.
- Providing all women access to respectful and high-quality maternity care.
- Improving women’s access to productive resources and income
- Improving women’s nutritional status
- Empowering women to obtain better health care, education and social services.
- Improving access to family planning and antenatal care during pregnancy.
- Improved management of normal delivery by skilled attendants, access to emergency obstetric and neonatal care when needed, and timely post-natal care for both mothers and newborns
As an organization, Silver Lining for the Needy Initiative (SLNI), helps to promoting maternal health as we did in the SOLAYO PROGRAMME PROJECT IN OSHMILI NORTH, DELTA STATE 2022 where we distributed birth kits to pregnant women.