As we battle maternal mortality in Africa, it’s important that we also look at petty things that women do that contribute to these occurrences and how we can prevent them from happening.
Sharing some insights I have gained through my practice and work as a midwife.
They are listed below
1. They do not start antenatal early. This can be dangerous especially if only a home pregnancy test was done. What if it’s realized that is an ectopic gestation. Other conditions will also be identified and treated promptly to prevent further complications
2. They refuse to take their medications. Some women on medication specific to their conditions will not take it. This can aggravate their symptoms etc… Preeclampsia, diabetes, sickle cell etc
3. Some don’t come for review. Review is very important. Medical staff can identify what you can not see as an expectant mum. Laboratory investigations can also help
4. Some women do not report early when there is a complication. Early diagnosis and treatment is key, in the treatment of any condition. If you feel unwell the best is to report early
5. They deliver their babies with attendants that are not skilled or trained. When complications come management becomes difficult.
6. They are not able to recognize the danger signs of pregnancy, example.. Severe headache, palpitations etc
7. Some deliberately refuse to adhere to simple instructions
8. Refusing medical procedures like cesarean section, blood transfusion etc
9.Some clients when they are referred to another hospital, they refuse to go due to fear. Worsening their conditions in general
10. Poor self care practices. Not eating well, poor personal hygiene etc. This makes women anemic and prone to infection
11. They take information from people who are not health professionals. “Home doctors”. This is dangerous since it can affect you negatively
12. After birth some women will not wait a little before starting pregnancy. This can result in ruptured uterus if you are not properly monitored.
13.Not saving or planning for your birth is another factor. There are instances when one needs money for emergency procedures, but due to financial constraints there is delay and it can cost the woman’s life
Taking steps to address these few issues will go a long way to avoid the needless maternal deaths in Africa.