What You Must Know Before Getting Pregnant #safemotherhood

Media visit to NURHI 72 hour makeover PHCs in Ibadan. Mrs Elegbeleye Atinuke (Senior CHEW) in an FP counseling session with a mother – Mrs Lamidi Rukayat. Media group was graciously allowed to witness the session with client’s permission.

What you know can help you make informed choices. The problem is sometimes we do not have access to the necessary information to help achieve a quality life and improved economic power.

An information shocked I and participants present at a Media Family Planning advocacy Roundtable meeting organized by Development Communications Network(DEVCOMS) supported by The Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiative(NURHI). I have always felt that ectopic pregnancies occur only in the fallopian tube but at this meeting, we heard that a woman was reported to have actually carried to term a baby that developed in her abdomen. The facilitator Dr. Tunde Olatunji explained further that the abdomen is that place which houses the womb, stomach, liver, kidney etc for those of us not medically inclined. So rest easy the abdomen is not the same as the stomach where food is digested.

According to medical reports ectopic pregnancies rarely do survive however It was possible for this woman to have her baby grow in her abdomen and termed instead of her womb. Probably early detection and close monitoring by skilled and well trained medical personnel. Imagine if she had delayed going early to register for antenatal care! The ectopic pregnancy growing in her abdomen would not have been discovered on time which could have been fatal for her and the unborn child. You can read up more about Abdominal pregnancy and the threat it poses to  a woman.

It is very important therefore that every woman, expectant or a would be mother be informed about preconception, antenatal and postnatal care available to them.

In lay man’s terms, ectopic pregnancy is when the sperm fertilizes the egg of a woman outside the womb. This means the embryo gets implanted and begins to develop outside the womb. Usually, ectopic pregnancies are flushed out because it is high risk to the health and life of a mother.

According to an article written by the American Pregnancy Association, known risk factors for ectopic pregnancies include:

• Previous abdominal/pelvic surgery
• Several induced abortions
• Pelvic inflammatory disease
• Maternal age of 33 -44 years

Knowledge is like a light bulb in a person’s head which sheds light on an issue. @debisibusybee

A few take away from Dr. Tunde Olatunji’s lecture on Improving Maternal Health

  1.  Preconception care involves providing adequate education about what pregnancy means to a woman’s health. Would be mothers should be encouraged to take care of themselves, eat right and stay healthy. This will prepare their body for the challenges that come with conception
  2. The health of a woman during pregnancy, at birth and postpartum(after delivery), is of crucial importance.
    Register early enough for antenatal care. This will give the pregnant woman to have access to education about what to eat, tests and immunizations required for expectant mothers; need to rest in between births and not have frequent deliveries etc.
    – Deliveries should be carried out by skilled birth attendants and health personnel.
    – Infection if not diagnosed early can make a woman who delivered safely to fall ill. And this can be a threat to her life.
    – Postnatal care provides information about breastfeeding and when to start feeding the child with other types of foods; immunization dozes for newborns; and when it is safe to have another child.

The first 24 hours after delivery critical for mothers and newborns. 2/3 of all maternal deaths occur during the postnatal period. – Dr. Olatunji

3. Grandmas and mothers-in-law to be educated about old practices that can be harmful to the wellbeing of mother and newborn. Example massaging the umbilical cord with a hot cloth heated on a lantern.

4. The burden of maternal mortality is an important input to health decision-making. Skilled health personnel are inadequate in health facilities; where we ought to have 15-17 personnel there are only 5 -6 skilled workers.

The government needs to invest in health care in order to prevent depletion of its populace and reduce productive manpower.

Family Planning services should also be budgeted for as it has been reported that this helps reduce maternal death by 40%

Life is precious and the one who is the vehicle that conveys life should not die while trying to achieve this. Every life counts and matters. – @debisibusybee

Adebisi Adetunji (C) Founder Beehyve Empowerment and Development Initiative. Media content provider, Trainer & consultant, Behavioral Change Radio Drama, Communication4Development, Social Media Influencer, Principal Producer (FRCN) 
Catch me on Twitter @DebisiBusybee
Facebook & email – bisimodupe1975@gmail.com

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