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World over, mothers and newborns register high rates of deaths especially during  child labour ,delivery or within the days that follow. A wide range of definition has been used to describe a safe delivery; from a delivery that is conducted either in a health institution or home assisted by a trained health professional to a delivery that is free from injuries and /or death

Depending on the span of experience, the definition may vary, for instance,a frontline health care provider, who spends every single day of their lives  saving lives and encountering different challenges involved in the process may offer a different definition from a mother who has had a one time experience in a labour suit.

Statistics from WHO indicate that of the more than 130 million births occurring each year, an estimated 303,00 result in the mother’s death, 2.6 million in stillbirth and another 2.7 million in a newborn death within the first 28 days of birth. The majority of these deaths occur in low resource settings like Uganda and most could be prevented.

So back to the topic,  we believe that mothers have to be proactive in order  to increase their chances of a success delivery, so what are these things that they can do?

1. Attend all your antenatal days.

Preparation for a safe delivery starts from the moment one discovers that they are pregnant. The importance of attendance of antenatal classes ,therefore, can not be emphasized enough. Attending your antenatal classes helps both you and the health workers prepare well for the time of child birth. Its during these visits that your health care team get to  attain a detailed medical history. This history is useful in establishment of any current health issues and anticipation of any future complications thus proper planning for management.

Preparation for a safe delivery starts from the moment one discovers that they are pregnant. The importance of attendance of antenatal classes ,therefore, can not be emphasized enough. Attending your antenatal classes helps both you and the health workers prepare well for the time of child birth. Its during these visits that your health care team get to  attain a detailed medical history. This history is useful in establishment of any current health issues and anticipation of any future complications thus proper planning for management.

In 2016, the WHO recommended that antenatal visits be increased from four to eight during pregnancy. Uganda is one of the countries that has put this policy into practice. So as a mother in Uganda, endeavour to attend all the eight classes to increase the odds of a safe delivery.
On your side, this is the time you get to have your questions answered, given advice on how to care for you and your unborn baby, get checkups, simply put, you get to learn how to plan for a successful delivery. This is one of the greatest activities that you can do but for it to be effective,  put into practice what you have been taught, don’t leave them at the hospital.

Everything your told and taught during antenatal is useful, practice it, implement and follow it religiously because this could be what sets you apart from a mother who get a successful delivery and one who doesn’t.

One more thing, ask a lot of questions, don’t be shy, antenatal classes are meant to teach, especially if your a first time mother, there is no dumb question, just ask.

RELATED: An Expectant Mothers Hospital Bag Checklist

2. Safe guard against Haemorrhage.

Simply put, Haemorrhage is excessive bleeding. This is the leading cause of death in Uganda, what safeguards can a mother put in place to ensure that she servivies this huge killer

         Ensuring increasing blood supply in your body during pregnancy
  1. During pregnancy, mothers should focus on increasing supply of blood in their body through taking in their iron supplements, eating healthy food especially blood generating one likes The top iron rich foods include green leafy vegetables like spinach, beetroot, tofu, asparagus, chicken liver, whole egg, oysters, apple, pomegranate, apricot, watermelon, prunes, pumpkin seeds, dates, almonds, raisins and more..
    Screen for diseases and any bleeding disorders.
    Check for high blood pressure as this multiplies bleeding rate hence reducing the survival rates of the mother, ensure you keep track of your blood pressure every time you visit a health worker  or during the antenatal visits.

    Also if you are planning to deliver from a hospital other than the one you’re taking your antenatal classes from, please alert them of your medical conditions.

    Protect yourself against Malaria.

    Malaria is very dangerous during pregnancy and the best fight against it is to prevent it from happening, sleep under a treated mosquito net, malaria reduces the fluids in the body including the much needed blood and mothers may become anaemic, do you see the connection here between malaria and haemorrhage, if malaria has already drained blood out you and here you are having excessive bleeding, what are your chances.Also consult your health worker incase of malaria to get the best treatment, Don’t self medicate.

  2. Get close to your health care provider.
  3. Why is this important, before being health workers, they are human, we all can attest to the benefits personal connections in our everyday lives. This will also allow you open up and ask more pressing questions that you would otherwise not have asked, hence enabling you to prepare over and above.

Stay tuned for part 2 of the article inline with financial planning, hospital bag preparation and care after delivery.

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References:   Observer,    New vision     WHO     Safebirth Project

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