One Way to Prevent Abortion

Abortion is the termination of pregnancy or fetus in the womb before it can survive outside the body. An abortion can be said to be induced when a miscarriage occurs or deliberate when the individual chooses to terminate the pregnancy.

Why is this done
Usually, abortion is carried out because an individual or a couple is not willing to have a baby that is already conceived. Sometimes an abortion is carried out due to health implications to the mother or fetus. Then miscarriages happen and a baby is aborted before it reaches full term for delivery.

There are arguments for and against the morality of doing an abortion. Whichever side of the divide you belong to I believe the most important thing is to deal with the reason why anyone would want to do an abortion. My own point of view though on the matter is that abortion infringes on the rights of an unborn life. Going for the option of an abortion is a big choice and is not a simple matter. There are risks involved in doing one and a woman should not take this step without proper counseling and be informed about choices available.

Who & Who would Get an Abortion
1) I see young school girls endanger themselves every now and then attempting to abort a baby. Many of them try to get rid of a pregnancy that “just happens” while been sexually active irresponsibly. Often we hear of girls who try to get an abortion using all kinds of dangerous stuff that sometimes becomes fatal as the girl dies doing this or her womb is damaged leading to serious complications later in life when ready to have a baby.
2) Another group is couples/married people who are not ready to have a baby and pregnancy occurs anyway. So they opt for aborting the baby.
3) This group is what we call sex workers who by the nature of what they do are engaged regularly or on daily basis in an activity that can bring “babies from heaven”. When pregnancy occurs with these ladies they try to get rid of it because hey it is bad for business. Sometimes they do have the babies but imagine how many other pregnancies have been aborted.
4) This group, I will call the “encouragers” or the ones who point women and girls in the direction. The Boys and Men who are not ready to be fathers and flippantly tell their girlfriend or lover to get an abortion. Sounds easy, “is it not just to flush the thing out; I mean it is not yet a life”, says such men.

Circle Bead – A modern family planning method(femininematerz photo)

The Way Out – Know more About Family Planning Options/ Contraceptives
I will try to look at the different categories above
Schoolgirls/Teenagers: I am a strong advocate for abstinence but what can we do sometimes when young people want to experiment or are already sexually active? As a parent, I will do my best to support and help my children to wait and not rush into gratifying their sexual God-given appetite, for indeed it can be controlled and waiting is worth it. It worked for me their mother and some others that I have seen.

However, I have met a number of young people who are already sexually active and the question of introducing the use of contraceptives sounds like a good idea. My church mind sends a red alert every time I hear people talking about educating young people about their options when it comes to choice of a contraceptive (condoms, pills etc.). But over time I have learned that sometimes this is the best option for a young person who is sexually active.

An experience that I do regret was a teenage girl’s case I intervened in while working on a maternal and child project (Abiye-saving a mother/Infant). I will call her Mary. She had to stop going to school because she got pregnant and had a baby. My team and I helped to get a home for her baby while we linked her with someone willing to sponsor her education and who also took her in giving Mary a home and family.

One of the intervention piece of advice we got was to take her to a family planning clinic and help her get a contraceptive method done since she was sexually active. Guess what? We felt it will mean that we were encouraging her to be promiscuous, so we didn’t do anything about it. We would later regret it because soon Mary became even engaged in sexual activities as she was now free of taking care of her baby. Mary left that family and stopped going to school and as we followed up on her case, she aborted a number of pregnancies after that and almost lost her life at some point. Still, Mary won’t stop and now she has two more babies and is inaccessible to us.

So if a girl is sexually active get her to obtain a family planning method to prevent unplanned pregnancy while also working on helping her to make the choice of delaying gratification. And this is not just for girls teach your boy to be responsible. Let him know that If he wants to engage in sex he must know that means he can impregnate a girl so abstinence or use of a condom is advised.

Couples/Married
If you are not ready to have a baby; go get a contraceptive or family planning method done instead of aborting that baby. This allows couples to pursue their goals and careers; the woman is able to rest in between births and they can both have the number of children they can provide for. Visit a family planning clinic or see your doctor to get proper counseling on your choice.

Let’s reduce the number of abortions by opting for contraceptives.Create a world where every pregnancy is wanted.

Adebisi Adetunji(C)

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Reaching People at Home & Work Places with Information about FP

Engaging our community and dialoguing with members at the grassroot level about Family Planning is key to poverty eradication and family empowerment.

Once while working with ARDA & NURHI on the field going from house to house, business centers dialoguing and informing people better about the need to plan their families we met a group of men. It was interesting discussing the issue with these men, some agreed that couples should only give birth to the number of children they can cater for but one man’s opinion stood out. This man whom I will call Bode believed that a man has a right to keep giving birth to as many children as he desired. Then we raised the issue if how frequent and too many births can affect a woman’s health. The discussion then centered on the wellbeing of his wife; Bode believed that he would keep acquiring more women to give birth to more children.

I looked at Bode and it was obvious that he didn’t earn much. Bode like many others hold the cultural believe that the Lord Almighty who gives children will take care of them. I believe that God is the giver of children and he also makes provision to care for them. However he expects us to be responsible therefore he will also hold us, parents accountable if we do not train and equip our children with all they need to become responsible men and women in the society.

I see many women at the grassroot suffer and struggle to take care of children because their husbands/men are busy donating babies to as many other women. Forgive me if I sound rather hard here.

Then there are men who will insist that the woman(his wife)  should just keep having as many babies as possible to the detriment of her health and the family’s wellbeing.

Family Planning means having the number of children one can care & provide for.

Family planning is key to preventing abortions. 

Family planning has helped couples who didn’t know any better to stop aborting babies. I have met a few couples who were able to relax in between births before having another baby and no longer had to abort unplanned pregnancy.

Life is all about the choices we make. These choices in turn make us and our future.

Adebisi Adetunji (C)

Woman to Woman Talk #13 – Watch that Artificial Eye Lashes… I Found out something #Harmful

Looking good is good business they say. I am for looking good but hey,  how harmful can it get sometimes?

The history of Artificial or false eyelashes dates back to the 18th century. However,  in 1916 it was believed to be made popular by an American film director known as W. Griffti  who used artificial eyelashes to help make the eyes of an actress to shine boldly in a film. Since then the use of artificial eyelashes has become popular amongst actresses, celebrities and the fashion industry. So basically women use artificial eyelashes to have fuller and bolder lashes and look. It is a beauty enhancer.

It is trending now at least in Nigeria for women to enhance their beauty by fixing artificial eyelashes. Trust ladies when there is party or “owanbe” as we say in Yoruba women visit their salon or beauticians to give them an entirely new look that makes a statement. Nothing wrong with looking your best and being fashionable but hey when it might constitute a danger to you, time to stop and think again!

And then again I see women who get their eyelashes fixed with artificial ones and the glue on one end of it dries up faster such that it doesn’t hold that end to the lids. I say that makes such a woman look a little off her fashion statement (sort of rough).

Exactly where am I going with this? I want to share a little of what I have lately learned about the dangers inherent in the use of artificial eyelashes.

What is the original purpose/function of our natural eyelashes?

It is to protect the eyes from dust, moisture and dirt.

Harmful effects of using artificial eyelashes

  • The glue used to attach false eyelashes to the eyelids contains chemicals that can be harmful to your eyes. It can cause irritation/allergy.
  • Most artificial eyelashes are longer and fuller than the natural one and this result into increase in air flow around the eyes. Dust gathers and settles more on your eye lids which is harmful to your sight.
  • Artificial eyelashes are comfortable ground for bacteria to fester because of it gives room for dirt to gather.
  • Constant and continuous use of false/artificial eyelashes can lead to loss of sight when the eye is exposed to chemicals from the glue, dirt and bacteria.
  • Artificial eyelashes can damage your natural ones and hinder its growth. Attempts to remove fixed lashes can uproot your natural eyelashes in the process.
  • There are least 10 or more dangers of using false eyelashes.

Your Vision is important. It is your window to the see the world. You cannot afford to be careless with your vision in the name of fashion.

Watch it and if you must use an artificial/false eyelashes get professionals to help you fix yours.  Understand how long you should have them on. Experts say that fixed eyelashes should be removed before going to bed every night and advised against  the use of long lasting ones. So if you cannot have it removed that day stay away from using them.

Abeg, Oju ni alakan fi nso ori o!

Photo Credit: Shutter Stock

Adebisi Adetunji (C)

Breastfeeding #2 – What is your take on Companies/organizations Providing a Baby Creche for Nursing Mothers?

The other day I was having an official chat with my boss and something she said warmed my heart.

Recently a number of our pregnant women in the office just delivered their babies. Four months of maternity leave wrapped up quickly and before you could say “Jack Robinson” they resumed work. A few of these mothers brought their babies to the office with a maid carrying the baby outside in the car, in the parking lot while mummy worked. The mother will dash out every now and then to breastfeed and get back to attending to official matters.

It was mostly a case of wanting to do exclusive Breastfeeding and to achieve this meant they had to bring their babies since there was no baby Creche  anywhere close to the office.

During our chat, this my boss looked out the window and saw a mother rushing to breastfeed her baby in the parking lot and she shared a thought she had been brooding over. She was on a hunt for a container that will be furnished and turned into a baby Creche for our nursing mothers. I felt it was really thoughtful of her. She planned on getting sponsors for this project to make this dream come through as the organization will likely not provide such a service.

My Question

What is your take on companies/organizations providing baby Creche for nursing mothers?

Some people will say it is not cost effective as these mothers are already being paid.. Hmmmn what do you think?

Please share your thoughts.

Baby Creche: A nursery where babies and young children are taken care of while their mum’s work. 

Adebisi Adetunji (C)

Woman to Woman Talk #11 – Step up Your Game – Staying Healthy & Clean

Well hello there…How has your life been? What have you been up to lately? I totally hope and pray that your life has been easy…hmmmn it might be really tough now with all you have to joggle. Some things are just out of our control but wherever your life is at right now, hey it can be better. So take one day at a time; one moment at a time.

My crux of the matter today is simply about how to maintain a healthy life style, a clean and tidy living environment. It starts with taking care of your body. Besides taking your bath how else can you take care of your body?

I know a lot of us ladies like to look prim, proper and beautiful after all looks are everything to a woman. Now some ladies don’t really care about all that make up stuff. They just want to maintain a simple outlook so they go for easy to wear stuff but girl you need to pep up your appearance sometimes. A good massage, full makeover, a new dress and shoe is definitely a nice way of treating yourself special.

 Lady you need to pay attention to been clean inside and out.

Tips for maintaining good body hygiene and cleanliness
Take a shower not only in the mornings, when you get back from the day’s work is a good time to take a warm or cold bath whichever you prefer. It freshens you up and kind of like a massage to your aching and tired body. Then you are also able to get rid of dirt and sweat making you appealing to yourself and husband just in case some snuggling and intimacy thing will happen *wink*
Shave your armpit and vagina(some people like to trim instead). This makes it easy to wash off sweat and clean your private area. I know you use deodorant and roll-on but nothing better than good old water and soap after which you can now apply all the nice scent products.
Wash off your make up before you go to bed.
Wash your underwears and keep them clean. 1) Please wear a different under pant for each day. It is easy for guys/men to wear a boxer for one week without washing it. It is a no…no…no for a woman or lady. This is because we have slight discharge apart from our menstrual blood flow. You are playing with infection from germs. 2) Wash your brazier and inner wear often. Don’t wear your brazier for a month before remembering to wash it, that is simply unhygienic and unhealthy.
Wash your clothes. learn to do some of your laundries yourself or hire someone to do it if you can afford it.

Tips for maintaining a clean and healthy living environment
• Sweep and mop the floor.
• Stop leaving dirty plates and pots in the sink. To save yourself the stress of washing a whole stack learn to clean up immediately after cooking. When you are done eating wash your plates immediately and get everyone in your house to wash their plates immediately after use especially your children. Sometimes “the husband” too should help with the dishes especially our African men …Lol
• Have a laundry basket where everyone throws their dirty clothes instead of littering your room and everywhere in the house with worn clothes.
• Have a day to do your washing don’t just keep post phoning.
Your sitting room should also be comfortable and clean. If you are nursing a baby do not allow him/her to pee on the couch. You are not going to like the odor and oozing smell that will greet you afterward if this continues. In case it does happen that your baby pees, or spills food on your couch, clean with soap and water using a sponge or an old cloth material. This will help clean up nicely and leave your couch odorless.
• Now bathrooms and toilets are very important. Keep it clean starts with you flushing after every use whether it is minor or major, by that I mean after urinating or pooping. Wash your toilets and bathrooms at least once a week. Keep the floors free of water by mopping every time water pours on the floor.
Bedrooms and wardrobe: Make your bed as soon as you get up(An advice I need myself as my husband is the one who cannot stand an unmade bed) He actually makes it on our behalf, lucky me. 🙂 Arrange your wardrobe every now and then. Do not jumble dirty and clean clothes together; it will all begin to smell of sweat!

My point here is this woman:

Don’t just pay attention to looking speck and dashing on the outside; pay attention to cleanliness and staying healthy.

And my dear woman who wants to get married but does not like to clean or do house chores, think again o! You will have to do it anyhow because even if your man is a modern man who is so homely, he cannot handle all the work of managing and keeping your home clean.

Why learn how to manage and keep a home tidy and clean
• You and everyone in your family stay healthy.
• You are able to keep a safe environment where children and even you do not injure themselves for tripping over a wire or handling sharp objects for example.
It’s your home, make it comfortable and a place to come to for yourself and family members.
• Some marriages are in troubled waters because of the woman or “madam”, is simply not tidy and very dirty (Not trying to judge here).

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 ©

I Simply Love this: Young Men Network Against Sexual and Gender Based Violence #EndFGMNG

In my line of work as a media expert, development communication consultant and recently a social media influencer, I have met a number of men who are passionate about protecting women against all forms of discrimination and are advocates of women’s rights. But seeing and meeting a group of men advocating against sexual and Gender Based violence…It is just so thrilling for me. The Youngmen network is made up of active members from all walks of life across the country in Nigeria.

You see this says to me that women are not alone.
It also tells me that men and women can be on the same team.

And then this question also comes to mind: What are we teaching our sons? They are the ones who become men tomorrow and they will treat a woman the way we taught them as families or society. It is time to pay attention to teaching our sons right values; teach them how to respect and appreciate the women in their lives.

There is just no need for the power tussle.
And while I and everyone are pushing for the education and right treatment of girls let us not fail to educate our boys.

How did I arrive here? I have been part of a two day workshop organized by the Young men Network Against Sexual and Gender Based Violence with focus on ending Female Genital Mutilation. It is a down to earth dialogue filled workshop.

Lessons & Discussion Points on FGM
Ending FGMC is not about throwing away our culture as a people, it is about stopping harmful practices.
FGM does not prevent a woman from being promiscuous as is the belief. This is totally hinged on the kind of training and upbringing or how such a child is nurtured.
Culture is not static. It is dynamic and changes from time to time/place to place.
Current data shows that 22 million women in Nigeria have undergone Female genital mutilation.
FGM is so called and not female circumcision because it is not the same as male circumcision. According to medical findings male circumcision has some health benefits and it is only one type – The removal of the foreskin. However in women, cutting is up to four types which mean everyone decides how far they want to go with cutting and scraping a woman’s vagina(Not funny)
Type three of FGM called Infibulation requires that the labia(lips of the vagina) be cut and it is sewn leaving only a small hole for urinating and mensuration! (This leaves me shivering) She is cut open when she gets married to allow sexual intercourse and in some culture when the husband is traveling the vagina is sewn and closed up until the man returns! Come on….this is just too much torture and pain.
• FGM causes mental and physical harm.
• Although at the national level in Nigeria the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act (VAPP) had been signed into law since 2015, enforcing it and adoption by states remains an issue. Under the VAPP law, the act of FGM/C is punishable with a 5years imprisonment or a fine of N100, 000. If you ask me this fine should be like 5million.

The discussion is still ongoing and the way forward is to keep dialoguing with communities and people about FGMC. There is a need for more and continuous education and education about what this practice means to the women and girls concerned and to the family unit at large.

Facilitators/Speakers:

Sola Fagorusi – Onelife Initiative for Human Development

Ayodeji Osowobi – Stand to End Rape

Adebisi Adetunji(C)