Maternal Healthcare: Ensuring Safe Pregnancy and Birth

June 8th, 2024 by imdad Leave a reply »

Maternal health refers to the health of women during pregnancy, childbirth, and the postnatal period. It is crucial to ensure safe pregnancy and birth experiences for women to promote their well-being and the health of their babies .

Importance of Maternal Healthcare
Every pregnancy and birth is unique, and addressing inequalities that affect health outcomes is fundamental to ensuring all women have access to respectful and high-quality maternity care. Efforts to reduce maternal injury and disability are critical in addition to preventing maternal deaths .

Common Complications and Causes of Maternal Deaths
Complications during and following pregnancy and childbirth are the primary causes of maternal deaths. Most of these complications are preventable or treatable. The major complications that account for nearly 75% of all maternal deaths include:

Severe bleeding (mostly bleeding after childbirth)
Infections (usually after childbirth)
High blood pressure during pregnancy (pre-eclampsia and eclampsia)
Complications from delivery
Unsafe abortion
Reducing Maternal Mortality
To prevent maternal deaths, it is vital to prevent unintended pregnancies and ensure access to contraception, safe abortion services, and quality post-abortion care. Additionally, providing comprehensive high-quality maternal health services, including behavioral health services, is crucial .

Addressing Racial Disparities
Racial disparities exist in maternal mortality rates, with Black women being three times more likely to die from a pregnancy-related cause compared to white women. To address this issue, it is important to:

Know and seek immediate care if experiencing urgent maternal warning signs.
Share recent pregnancy history during each medical care visit.
Connect with healthcare and social support systems before, during, and after pregnancy.
Help patients manage chronic conditions or conditions that may arise during pregnancy, such as hypertension, diabetes, or depression .
Improving Access to Maternal Healthcare
Improving access to maternal healthcare is crucial, especially in rural communities. Different healthcare professionals, such as doctors, nurses, midwives, and doulas, play critical roles in providing maternal health care before, during, and after pregnancy . Additionally, involving men as fathers/partners during pregnancy, childbirth, and after delivery can promote positive outcomes .

Government Initiatives
The U.S. government is taking steps to address the maternal health crisis and improve outcomes. The White House has mobilized federal agencies to develop the White House Blueprint for Addressing the Maternal Health Crisis. The blueprint focuses on increasing access to comprehensive high-quality maternal health services, ensuring women’s voices are heard in accountable systems of care, advancing data collection and research, expanding the perinatal workforce, and strengthening economic and social supports for people before, during, and after pregnancy .


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