Soon-to-be moms needs antenatal care to reduce maternal mortality

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DHAKA, Feb 09, 2019 (BSS) – When it comes to having first child it is enormously exhilarating for soon-to-be parents to ponder over holding the baby for the first time and all the beautiful moments they will spend together.

But it can also be creepy when one does not know what to expect. Many moms worry about childbirth, and complications. It seems even normal to wonder about the chances of dying.

In the past, pregnancy and childbirth were more precarious. But, today, it’s much safer to have a baby. If one gets regular prenatal care, eat well, make good lifestyle choices, and have a skilled health practitioner at her delivery, the chances of having a healthy pregnancy and birth are excellent. However, in some parts of the country women continue to face difficult circumstances surrounding pregnancy and childbirth.

Just like many other women they have the same hopes and fears about having a child. With experiencing many remarkable successes in the health sector, the country is also faced with the challenge of deaths from pregnancy or childbirth-related complications, and most could have been prevented.

Women die as a result of complications during and following pregnancy and childbirth. Most of these complications develop during pregnancy and most are preventable and or treatable as the health-care solutions to prevent or manage complications are well-known.

In Bangladesh, around 13 percent women aged 15 years-49 years die during childbirth. Every year 222 mothers die due to complications of pregnancy and childbirth.

A report titled `Mother death and health service study in Bangladesh 2016: Primary report’ depicted the statistic on maternal mortality rate. Sources said two surveys were conducted in 2001 and 2010.

The 2001 survey showed that 20 percent women died for pregnancy-related diseases. In 2010, the mortality rate came down to 14 percent. After six years, in 2016, the death rate was 13 percent.

In the survey, conducted by the Bangladesh government, showed that a total of 196 mothers died among the one lakh mothers during childbirth. According to the survey, now the delivery cases in health centres have significantly increased.

In 2001, the delivery cases in health centres were only nine percent while it was 23 percent in 2010. The 2016 survey showed that the rate was 47 percent. Presently, a total of 53 percent unsafe deliveries are being done by the unskilled midwives in the country.

Sources said only three percent health centers across the country possess the least criteria for normal delivery.

In 2010’s survey showed, 31 percent mother died due to severe bleeding, 20 percent for epilepsy, 7 percent for delivery complexity or long time labor pain, one percent for abortion, 35 percent for indirect reasons (heart disease, jaundice etc), 5 percent for direct other reasons and one percent for unknown reasons.

In 2016 survey showed, 31 percent mother died due to severe bleeding and 24 percent for epilepsy.

Kamrun Nahar, a member of the survey, said, “The survey mentioned the reasons of mother’s death. It also stated where to give more importance to reduce the death rate. Severe bleeding and epilepsy are the main two reasons of deaths. But we didn’t see adequate programme to reduce the death rate.”

Gynecologist Dr Monowara Begum said the mothers of rural areas are not aware of the reproductive health. They feel discomfort to discuss the issue, she added.

Experts said all women need access to antenatal care in pregnancy, skilled care during childbirth, and support in the weeks after childbirth.

All births should be attended by skilled health professionals, as timely management and treatment can make the difference between life and death for both the mother and the baby. Factors that prevent women from receiving or seeking care during pregnancy and childbirth are poverty, distance, lack of information, inadequate services and cultural practices, they said.

They observed the authorities concerned should address inequalities in access to health care and quality of reproductive, maternal and new born medicare.

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