#SAFE MOTHERHOOD – Do You Know that Parts of a baby Forms 3 weeks after Conception? How to Have a Healthy Baby.

Your baby’s development and growth starts in the womb and not just after birth. Most times we begin to count a child’s age when he/she is born. I’d like to think that the nine months in the womb should be added. Yes, the life of any child begins at conception. It is therefore important that a woman understands that once she gets pregnant everything and anything she does can affect the development of her child.

As early as three weeks after conception occurs a baby’s organs internally and physically begins to form (head, hand, fingers, intestine, heart etc.) So it is very important for a mother to start eating right and taking care of herself right from the time she is aware that another life is growing in her. I would say even before you get pregnant eat right, eat a balanced diet and feed well. Then your body can have enough supply of nutrients, vitamins, minerals needed by you and your baby.

What you eat; how you take care of yourself and health during pregnancy matters.

Foods rich in nutrient to help your baby develop well in the womb:

  • Eat a lot of proteinous foods such as egg, fish, meat, beans, Moimoi, Akara(Bean Cake) – Helps your baby’s brain and muscle development.
    Specifically Beans – contains Zinc an important mineral that helps to give your baby adequate birth weight and cut down the risk of having a pre-term baby.
  • Fruits (Orange, banana, Apple, grapes, Guava, etc.) contain lots of vitamins.
  • Dairy products such as milk, yogurt – This is rich in calcium necessary for the development of your baby’s bones, teeth.
  • Foods rich in fiber such as oatmeal, cereals rich in wheat – This class of food contain vitamins and proteins.
  • Vegetables such as carrot, cabbage, efo tete, ugwu leaf and so much more – These are rich in vitamins and minerals.
  • Water is essential in helping organs of the body to function properly. Water aids digestion, circulation of nutrients in the body and oxygen flow in the body. Therefore water is very important in pregnancy. Take a lot of water in pregnancy.

Most malformation (birth defects) occur when the organs are forming and what can cause this include effects of drugs used without doctor’s prescription or exposure to radiation. 

Beware Alcohol, smoking and taking drugs without a doctor’s prescription can have serious implication on your baby.

Warning Alcohol affects the development and health of a baby in the womb and after birth.

Photo Credit: BBC

Adebisi Adetunji (C)

Breastfeeding #1: A Healthy Baby Bonding With Mother

Breastfeeding makes a happy and healthy baby.
Breastfeeding gives a mother great moments to bond with her child.
Breast milk contains all the nutrients your baby needs to grow healthy.

Exclusive Breastfeeding for the first 6 months of life is worth it. To achieve this companies and organizations need to provide baby care centers to enable nursing mothers breast feed their babies.

To Every Nursing Mother: Eat healthy by taking a balanced diet. Take a lot of fluid such as water, Pap/Ogi,  coca oat, tea and fruits🍉🍏🍋🍅🍓🍇. If you are from Africa particularly Nigeria abeg eat correct Amala, Eba, Future with a lot of vegetable. Hehehe enjoy!

Feed yourself very well in order to have the energy and strength to breastfeed your baby. That’s the way to take care of those hunger dizzy spells that occur after breastfeeding all night or any other time of day. 😀😀

Happy Breastfeeding Week.

Adebisi Adetunji (C)

Water is Essential in Health Facilities – SafeMotherhood #6

 

I was at a Primary Health Center(PHC)  to join in on a community mobilization effort to sensitize people about Family Planning and its benefit to women’s health and poverty reduction organized by NURHI Ibadan. While the group gathered I decided to visit the toilet to ease the pressure in my bladder and I asked the nurse on duty to point me in the direction of the toilet. I  was told that there was no water and was advised to pee in the bush somewhere around the back of the health center outside. It wasn’t funny but I had to afterall I have been in rusettings before 😕

It is unthinkable to run a hospital with little or no water supply. Yet that is the case in many primary health centers serving communities in Nigeria. Having worked on a maternal and child health program (Abiye)  for more than five years now many of the PHC my team visited and worked with lack access to clean water. 

Imagine a pregnant woman in labor pains coming to deliver at a PHC where there is no water… 

A few PHC are lucky to have a well or get a bore hole sunk by philanthropist, politicians who need to shine. But most do not have access to clean water to attend to patients.
If there is no water in a facility patients and health workers alike are exposed to serious health hazards.

Water is necessary to keep a hospital environment clean and everyone in it safe and healthy. It’s availability enables constant washing of hands by health care providers to prevent spread of diseases; to have a clean toilet; to conduct surgeries and wash hospital equipments and basically keep the hospital facility clean.

How can we ensure that clean water is accessible to primary health centers? Who is responsible for providing water? What can communities do you help their PHCs access water?

Adebisi Adetunji (C)

PRESS RELEASE: “IRETI EDA” Radio Program Returns: Weekly Program to Air in Oyo State

The “Get It Together” Campaign, led by the Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiative 2 (NURHI 2), will launch 26 new episodes of their weekly radio program – Ireti Eda – during the week of July 14, 2017.

The new episodes of Ireti Eda in Oyo continue the captivating drama it was known for intermixed with real-life testimonials from community leaders, health service providers, and program listeners. This combination of entertaining and educational content encourages all Nigerians and Oyo people, in particular, to KNOW the facts about family planning, TALK to their partner, and GO for family planning services – the key message of NURHI 2’s Get It Together campaign.

“I like the radio program, Ireti Eda, because it educates us on Family Planning, especially through the drama characters, highlighting the need, importance, and methods of Family Planning. I do not miss any episode as I have learned a lot from the expert that answers questions also, as some of the things they said are things I have experienced as a woman. The program is very good and It it should be continued.Bunmi.

As in the previous three seasons, this radio program will feature the latest jams, real-life stories from satisfied family planning users, and the chance to win the weekly prize, which will be N1,000 recharge cards. The programs will also offer listeners the opportunity to call-in and speak directly with family planning experts, who answer their questions live on-air.

Dr. Mojisola Odeku, NURHI 2 Portfolio Director said “Listeners are hooked on the programs’ serial dramas and know they can trust the project to provide factual and accurate health information. Fans can even call-in to the program to have their questions answered by family planning experts, one of the more popular features.”

The new episodes of Ireti Eda radio program build on the success of the first seasons, NURHI 1’s popular radio programs, and the campaign’s 2016 hit song “Get It Together,” featuring Paul ‘P Square’ Okoye and Tiwa Savage. At the same time, NURHI 2 has helped establish a network of trained health providers offering friendly and confidential family planning services. NURHI 2 locations can be recognized by the blue, yellow and orange puzzle piece logo with signs that say ‘FP services available here.’

The new episodes’ premiere dates, radio stations, and broadcast times are as follows:

Oyo:
Splash 105.5FM: Fridays 3-4pm (Start date: July 14)
Amuludun 99.1FM: Mondays 3-4pm (Start Date: July 17)

Radio listeners can join in the conversation and see what other fans are saying on Get It Together’s official Facebook page: @getittogetherng

For more information please visit http://www.nurhitoolkit.org, send an email to info@nurhi.org or call Toyeke on 0905-261-5272.

About the Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiative 2 (NURHI 2):

The Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiative 2 (NURHI 2) funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation/T. J. Mather is using communication to increase demand for family planning among men and women. It is led by the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs (JHCCP) in partnership with the Center for Communication Programs Nigeria (CCPN).

Published as released by NURHI

Adebisi Adetunji (C)

Safe Motherhood #5: A disturbing trend.

A couple already has 5 male children and they arrived at this number because of the desire to have a female child. Nothing wrong with wanting to have both genders but many times things do not work out the way we plan. This woman gets pregnant again and the family is excited and hoped that they will eventually have their much-desired girl child. By the way, it is nice to see a turnaround in the cultural belief that only male children are important in a family.

Back to my story, it turns out that this couple had a double blessing for their long wait. A set of twin baby girls arrived into their lives. They were ecstatic but soon the mother began to bleed after the delivery of the children. Some of her placentae remained in her which caused bleeding. She was eventually referred on emergency to a tertiary hospital for special care. It took a lot to stop the bleeding and save this woman’s life.

Seriously why do we keep endangering our lives as women?  And there are men who insist on having more children when their wives have health challenges or difficult birth experiences… I ask …

Do you want a living wife or a dead one who will leave you to struggle to care for the many children you so desired at the expense of her life and wellbeing?

If God gives you only girls be contended. If it is boys be satisfied too. Have you thought about couples who would give anything to have just one child? I have family friends who insist that they want a certain number of children and it doesn’t matter which sex they are blessed with their decision remains.

Now the couple in my story have seven children…hen! All in the name of having a particular gender as a child. Please be grateful and contented and take care of your children no matter which gender they are.

Hemorrhage or bleeding is one of the leading causes of maternal death. It can occur before, during and after delivery. One cause of bleeding is when the uterus does not contract quickly enough after birth. Having multiple births in quick succession enlarges the uterus. This reproductive female organ is described to be like a balloon and many births cause the uterus to keep expanding and may just “burst” figuratively speaking. This means that the mouth of the womb/cervix may not close up as it should which causes bleeding that can lead to death when next such a woman is having another baby.

It is important for mothers to rest well in between births and equally avoid undergoing too many births than their health can withstand. So encourage and advice your friend, family and those who work for you doing menial jobs to take things easy and plan their babies and also be satisfied with whatever gender they have.

If you are wondering how to prevent unplanned pregnancy visit any family planning clinic or hospital nearest to you to discuss your options. I know that primary health centers also provide these services for a token.

Family Planning reduces maternal mortality by 40%

Adebisi Adetunji ©

SPITFIRE Advocacy Skills Training for Media in Oyo State

When I first heard of the catch phrase “Spitfire”, I thought in Pidgin language…”Wetin this one mean now”? Analysing it further I came to the conclusion that it possibly means reinforcement and persistently talking about an important social issue or whatever issue. In this case spacing births in order to save lives, improve on the quality of lives of citizens and of course making governance easier for government.

I have been part of the Spitfire Advocacy training on how to effectively share family planning stories organized by DEVCOMS and NURHI holding in Ibadan, Oyo State.

As the training began it became clear what Spitfire Advocacy means. It is a tool for helping non-profit organizations develop high impact and effective persuasive communication. It is a Smart Chart for communications and the latest version is known as Chart 3.0

In advocacy efforts the Spitfire tool can be used at different levels of creating awareness and making impact about an issue. Some of these stages include:
1) Just starting a communication process: This is the planning stage where you determine your message; goals and objectives and what you intend to achieve.
2) Building on a campaign that is already on-going
3) Reviewing and wanting to scale up on an already executed project.

Spitfire is also a more effective strategic communication advocacy tool. It helps organizations and individuals who are change agents to make decisions that will produce high result. Read more about The Spitfire Strategies Smart Chart 3.0, a highly effective communication tool.

Why  the media is important here: Because it has the capacity to educate the public. The media is a potent force that can cause change positively or negatively.

Spitfire strategies helps you make:
Specific
Measurable
Actionable/Attainable
Realistic
Time Bound

Set SMART goals, decisions in achieving a change.

I learned that nothing is impossible if you set your mind to it. Team work and coalitions makes pursuing and achieving success at an idea more effective. As you can see in this photo

A group of participants in a tight interlocked hand holding exercise. Lots of laughter 😂😂😂 as they tried to untangle while still holding each others hands to form a circle. It looked unachievable at first but we ended up unraveling the mystery 😀😀😂

Facilitators at the training:
Mrs Stella Akinso – State Team Lead, Oyo (NURHI)
Mallam Kabir. M. Abdullahi – State Team Leader, Kaduna(NURHI)
Mr Samuel Rapheal – Senior Program officer, Advocacy & Demand generation (NURHI)

Adebisi Adetunji (C)

Safe Motherhood #4 – My Personal Eventful Birth Experience Prt 2

Catch up on  my previous post, Safe Motherhood #3 – My Eventful Birth Story part 1

I woke up in the early hours of the day I would eventually deliver my baby to go to the toilet. I discovered that I was already wet, wet with a lot of blood. It was kind of scary but I thought it was the blood show that sometimes occurs as a prelude to labor pains in some pregnant women. How naïve I was if only I had known what that meant but not knowing kept me from panicking. I had to change my sanitary towel like twice before day break. When we saw how heavy the blood flow was, my husband and I knelt down beside our bed and prayed not knowing what lay ahead. We simply had faith that God will take control beyond our understanding of what was happening. I didn’t get much sleep so I had my bath and as soon as it was 6 am off we went to the home of a family friend who was a doctor and lived in our neighborhood.

When we shared what had been happening with him he simply said he would immediately take me to the hospital in a very unsuspecting doctor’s way of treating an emergency in a not alarming way. We had no idea that it was a serious thing. It was only after a series of scan tests and then my consultant was called to attend to me on a Sunday that I realize something serious was up. He came in right from attending church service.

I was still puzzled by all the back and forth going from the hospital ward to the scan room severally. Finally, my consultant said, “Madam we are going to do a caesarean section in order to save the life of you and your baby”. I took a heavy breath and became really afraid of going to the theater to deliver my baby that in the given circumstance I had no choice.

I was wheeled into the theater and I woke up two weeks after delivery of my baby. I do remember trying to wake up from the anesthesia effect but that was all I can remember. Much of what happened afterward was narrated to me by my husband.

The surgery was successful and my baby was alive only he was underweight. And because I couldn’t breastfeed him since I was really sick myself, he was admitted to the special baby care unit.
Why did I need a caesarean section? What was the cause of the bleeding? I was told that I had Placenta Previa (When the placenta detaches from the uterine wall and bleeding occurs).

mumjunction.com

After delivery of my baby, I had eclampsia (Pregnancy induced high blood pressure that leads to seizure). Usually, a woman can experience preeclampsia during pregnancy which later leads to eclampsia. This characterized by swollen feet, high blood pressure. However, these signs did not present itself in the last trimester of my pregnancy. Unfortunately, my B.P went up after the CS that resulted in a seizure. All these I didn’t know and do not have a memory of. My husband prayed hard that I would survive and my doctors did their best to stabilize me.

After coming around two weeks after delivery, I still was very weak and needed some time to recuperate. Mostly my body had been starved of proper nutrition through pregnancy and I didn’t have enough stamina to even breastfeed. I was not to be discharged for another week and a half. My baby’s naming ceremony held one month after delivery!!

The two major birth complications that occurred (Placenta Previa & Pre-eclampsia) during the delivery of my baby are factors that have been the cause of many maternal deaths. I do not take lightly the blessing and mercy of been alive to tell my story and possibly help as many women from being endangered in such a way.

What Saved Me:

Registering for antenatal and delivering at an equipped hospital with trained health personnel went a long way in prompt attendance to my emergency. Imagine if I had gone to give birth at a mission house or with a local mid – wife where they are ill equipped to manage my kind of emergency. It would have been a different story.

Lessons
• My body was severely malnourished and starved of the required nutrient needed to carry a baby. Therefore the after effect of my falling ill after delivery. Even after being discharged from the hospital I needed to really feed and rest well before I regained my strength and weight again (Though I am naturally a slim person).

Ignorance is no excuse to dare consequences of not knowing what you should know. Please get registered for antenatal quickly as soon as you discover you are pregnant.

Read books on what expectant mothers should do in order to have a healthy baby and be healthy themselves.
Measures that helped me relax in between births

Managing after effects of my  birth complication and Resting Well

I was advised to go for family planning in order to prevent me from getting pregnant too soon. My body was not ready for another pressure of carrying a baby.
It also afforded me the time needed to heal properly.

Three years down the line I became pregnant and this time I was ready. I even began to take folic acid and B-complex to boost my multivitamin level. I had learned my lessons and today I can sing this song:

I’m Alive today because God kept me…

Thanks to all my doctors and nurses who took care of me at that very trying period in my life and that of my family.

Photo Credit: mumjunction.com

Adebisi Adetunji (C)