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PROMOTING QUALITY MATERNAL HEALTH IN AFRICA

More than 90 percent of maternal deaths that occur world wide occur in Africa and this is highly unacceptable.

Most of these deaths that occur in Africa are preventable.

We can help change the narrative.

Follow my blog as I share information on pregnancy, labor and delivery. I will also share news on Maternal health and new research that will help promote maternal health in Africa.

Also watch out for videos, books and events that will help promote maternal health.

Invite all parents, expectant mums to follow my blog.

Together we can!

Let’s end the needless maternal deaths. No woman should die bringing life into the world.

TEENAGE PREGNANCY :A THREAT TO NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

I noticed a woman with scarf looking so weak and fragile. In my mind she is an adult, pregnant and having the usual hyperemisis gravidarum which will by all means pass.

As I looked closely, I reasiled she could be much younger. She couldn’t speak, she was weak having chills and shivering. The scarf made her to look much older than her age. She was only 16 years. An adolescent

She had not eaten and the man responsible is no where to be found!

What broke my heart, where is your mother? She is in Ashanti Region. And what are you doing here in Accra.?

My mum gave me to a man to help me learn a trade.(Sewing)

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What?….Are you sure? Mum gave you to a man to come to Accra with you?

Sadly responding yes..

Is your mum aware he has got you pregnant and sick as well?

No madam! She replied

Do you have your mums number? No he is the one who has it and when I asked for it he said no since I will report that am pregnant.

This is just one of the real stories… What has happened to society? What has happened to parenting?

What social structures do we have in place to protect these innocent girls from being vulnerable?

How can we empower our women across the country to become economically independent so they can protect their daughters.

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For the men who take advantage of these young and innocent girls what can we do to stop this from re occurring!

The lives of many brilliant girls are being wasted and shattered due to teenage pregnancy. Many of the girls who are supposed to be in school developing themselves are being forced to become mothers and wives.

The cycle will continue and social vices will increase if nothing is done about it.

Let’s not pretend nothing is happening! Let’s not say it is everywhere or it is normal. It is not normal and also unacceptable!!!

We can prevent many of these occurrences.

Let’s join hands, in our small corners let’s encourage girls to stay in school and also mentor them to achieve their dreams.

And yes we can’t run away from sex education and teaching our girls ascertive skills!

Thank you. Pass it on. Kindly do something in your own way about this

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50 PERCENT OF ALL PREGNANCIES MAY END IN MISCARRIAGE . STOP BLAMING YOURSELF FOR THE PREGNANCY LOSS!

For most women especially mums who are expecting for the first time, when a miscarriage happens it leads to self doubt and loss of confidence in one’s self especially ability to bear children.

This is why you should stop blaming yourself. As many as half of all pregnancies may end in miscarriage. The exact number is not known because a miscarriage may happen before a woman knows she’s pregnant. Most women who miscarry go on to have a healthy pregnancy later without any complications

Most common cause of miscarriage is chromosomal abnormalities in the fetus. The body naturally clears it out of the body. This is related to the fetus and not the mother. In few cases infection, uterine abnormalities, alcohol and smoking can cause miscarriage in mums as well


Miscarriage is when a baby dies in the womb before 20 weeks of pregnancy. Some women have a miscarriage before they know they’re pregnant.

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It can take a few weeks to a month or more for your body to recover from a miscarriage. It may take longer to recover emotionally.

Talk to your health care provider about having medical tests before you try to get pregnant again.

Most women who miscarry go on to have a healthy pregnancy later.

For women who know they’re pregnant, about 10 to 15 in 100 pregnancies (10 to 15 percent) end in miscarriage.

Most miscarriages happen in the first trimester before the 12th week of pregnancy. Miscarriage in the second trimester (between 13 and 19 weeks) happens in 1 to 5 in 100 (1 to 5 percent) pregnancies.

Miscarriage is very common in women. It does not mean you are less of a woman.

If it becomes habitual or frequent you will need to see a doctor for help. Pre conception care is also key to the success of a pregnancy. A doctor will help to treat all infections, diseases or any abnormality that may aid miscarriage.

Join our fertility support group 0242281957. Send a whatsup message to find out more.

Sorce: March of Dimes

SICKLE CELL DISEASE – BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER PREGNANCY

Sickle cell disease is a blood disorder usually passed down from parent to child. People with sickle cell disease have abnormal hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen to the body.

In an adult red blood cells can live up to 120 days before they wear off or die, but in a sickle cell patients it takes about 10 to 20 days. It takes a shorter time. This is the cause of the anemia in sickle cell. There is also jaundice due to the excessive breakdown of the red blood cells. The cells that are sickle shaped can stick to each other occlude vessels and cause crises, pain and also reduce blood flow to certain organs. Symptoms depend on the organ affected.

Before pregnancy/marriage… Go for #genetic counseling you and your spouse. It’s best if both of you do not carry the gene. If both couples carry a trait the likelihood of having offspring with sickle cell is high. People can either be carriers, sickle cell or Non carriers. Your doctor will explain more what it means to be AA-no trait , AS&AC – trait/ carrier’s , SS&SC-sickle cell disease.,among others. Based on his/her findings he will counsel couple so they can make an informed decision.

Women with sickle cell disease can get pregnant but should make sure they are fit. They should they go for preconception care where the doctor confirms they are fit. If there is a defeciency it is corrected first and all infections treated as well. It’s advisable for them to take a form of contraception to avoid unplanned pregnancy.

During pregnancy you will need close monitoring. Take prescribed medications, rest exercise. Enough fluids and avoid stress. Foods rich in iron, vitamins and protein in recommended. Report to the hospital immediately you feel sick. Prompt treatment is essential. Regular antenatal visits is beneficial.

Delivery should be in a #hospital with specialized care and monitoring. Plan your delivery together with your midwife and as well cooperate with her.

After #birth continue to take your prescribed medication and rest. Let people help you.More fluids, go for follow up clinics

They need support from relatives and spouses to stay healthy. It is not a communicable disease and can be managed with close monitoring and dedicated medical staffs. In case there is crises send client to the nearest facility as soon as possible.

Midwives in the periphery compound should refer clients to hospitals for specialized antenatal care. They should as well be handed over to community health workers for home visits and other support they may need.

If you already in the marriage/relationship you can still go for counseling if both couples are carriers or one has sickle cell. Children with sickle cell have specialized clinics in most hospitals and can be managed effectively. Thanks. Kindly #SHARE

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HELP SAVE LITTLE JUNIOR SUFFERING FROM A CONGENITAL HEART DISEASE (TETRALOGY OF FALLOT)

On hospital admission

Hector Ofori JNR was born on the 8th march 2017 at the Eastern Regional Hospital, Koforidua through caesarian section. The condition was not diagnosed at birth so was brought home. It started showing when he started crawling at six months.

He tends to have fainting attacks and regularly turns blue. He is usually anaemic.

He fainted one day and was rusned to the st. Joseph hospital, koforidua for medical attention.

He was diagnosed as a case of tetralogy of fallot with MBTS and reffered to the korlebu teaching hospital for further management.

On hospital admission

He was admitted for six weeks and discharged , then went for review every 2 weeks on OPD basis.

He was scheduled for his first surgery in march, 2019 and it was successful.

He is scheduled for his final surgery on the 5th, march 2020 and the total cost is $9000. First surgery was for his first stage palliative modified blqlock-Tausing shunt and he is due for full repair of the defect.

He is counting on our donation to go and have it successfully done. His parents have spent most of their live earnings and are now looking for support from the general public.

Donate and save little Juniors life and God will bless you.

To donate kindly send to MTN MOMO Women and Children Health Advocacy group. 0241575640

Merchant ID 608433

You can also pay directly in his name to the Cardio Centre in Korlebu.

Letter of support from Korlebu Teaching Hospital

Thank you!


What is Tetralogy of fallot ?
A heart defect that features four problems.

  • They are: a hole between the lower chambers of the heart
  • An obstruction from the heart to the lungs
  • The aorta (blood vessel) lies over the hole in the lower chambers
  • The muscle surrounding the lower right chamber becomes overly thickened

It can be repaired by surgery. Your help can make a difference. Kindly donate now.

DIABETES IN PREGNANCY: WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW

During pregnancy hormonal changes in the body can alter how sugar can be used by the body. Insulin is required for the body to use the sugar we have in our body. The placenta hormones prevents its effectiveness hence more insulin required to process the sugar consumed. Women may end up having more sugar in the body and diagnosed as having #GestationalDiabetis.

Some signs include increased thirst, increased urination FBS of more than 6 mmol/L.

We are concerned about Gestational diabetes because of the complications it can have for both mum and baby. To mention a few…. having a big baby, fetal abnormalities, premature birth, intrauterine fetal death, delayed wound healing, infections etc

If you are pregnant your sugar, Fasting blood sugar (FBS), will be checked at the hospital during your first visit and at every subsequent visit a dipstick is used to check for the presence of sugar in urine. If diagnosed of GDM, rest assured it can be managed and both mum and baby will be fine. The key thing is to cooperate with your doctor, so that they can keep your #bloodsugar level under control. Once this is achieved complications are greatly reduced.

Also adapt a healthy lifestyle, eat nutritious meals, and exercise. Visit the hospital as scheduled and deliver your baby in a hospital. Always involve someone in your care and take prescribed medications as well.

To prevent or reduce complications

🍉Keeping your sugar level under control can prevent most of the complications associated with it.

🥑Talk to your midwife or doctor about how to keep your sugar levels within normal.

🌽Talk to a nutritionist to help you choose healthy diet as well. More fruits, vegetables and Fibre in your diet is necessary.

🍎Regular antenatal clinics and hospital delivery is recommended

Speak to a health care provider if you have any concerns.

 

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YOUR BUMP… THE MIDWIVES ABDOMINAL EXAMINATION

Have you wondered what the midwife might be looking for especially when she is examining your bumb? Let me make it simple for you.. I have also been lost once

Abdominal examination is part of the general examination done by the midwife for all expectant mums. This is one of the crucial ones since you are pregnant

She will first ask you to empty your bladder and position you on a comfortable bed or couch. She provides privacy and exposes your abdomen.

⛔Inspection
She inspects your abdomen for the skin color, scars, size, shape and also the strae. All this has its meaning. A previous scar can let her know you had a previous surgery and it will be used in your care

⛔Palpation
You will also notice that she uses her palm to palpate or feel what is in your abdomen. She is trying to find out how your baby is lying and presenting. Meaning is baby coming with head first, buttocks or some other part?

⛔Fundal height measurements
She will also take note of the uppermost part of the womb called the fundus. The midwife will use a tape measure to measure the length of your bump. She has her reference points. This is very crucial because it gives her an estimation of how old or how well your baby is growing. Example if you are 20 weeks your bump should also be + or – 2 (18 to 22) . Any figure within this is considered normal. If your Bump is 20cm and you are already 30 weeks your midwife will raise an alert there could be growth restriction. If you are 20 weeks gestation and bump is already 30cm with a singleton it also raises alarm. There could be a problem. Twin gestations usually have higher fundal heights. Always compare it to the previous reading to know if your bump is growing. Your midwife only starts measuring when your uterus is palpable meaning she can feel it.

⛔Auscultation /Fetal heart
She will also listen to the fetal heart of the baby with the Fetoscope to make sure she hears your babies heartbeat.. You may be lucky to hear as well. This is unlikely if the pregnancy is in the early stage.

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In all she does
1.Inspection

  1. Palpation
    3.Fundal height measurement
  2. Auscultation /listen to the fetal heart

She may not be able to figure out everything, give her every information example previous surgeries, medical conditions like ulcer etc..

It will be done at each visit. Ask questions to know how your pregnancy is doing.

#Thanks

FINLAND PRIME MINISTER EXTEND PAID MATERNITY LEAVE TO 6.6 MONTHS FOR BOTH MEN AND WOMEN

In Ghana paid maternity leave lasts for just 84 days, ln reality less than 3 months and this is just for the woman. This has become a major concern for many women since they have to leave their babies that early to resume work.

What makes it even worse is that our facilities are not baby friendly. There are no nursery’s and many women begin to have struggles how to keep their jobs and care for the little ones.

The Finnish government, led by a 34 year old woman, which was only appointed in December, said both parents would get a paid leave allowance of #164 days, or around 6.6 months paid leave.

The pregnant parent also can receive one month of pregnancy allowance even before the parental leave starts. #wow!

The new policy is designed to be gender-neutral and will come into effect as soon as fall 2021. It will eliminate gender-based allowances that currently grant about four months of paid leave to mothers and about two months to fathers.

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Parents will be permitted to transfer 69 days from their own quota to the other parent. A single parent will have access to the allowance for both parents.

The government estimates that the increased leave will cost 100 million euros (about $110 million). Reuters reports that Finland’s previous center-right government explored parental leave reform in 2018 but decided it would be too expensive.

This is one of the measures they are putting in place to help encourage women to have babies and also help to their population to grow. Finland is said to have an aging population.

This measure will also give both men and women equal opportunities to take part in the care of their new born.

It is my hope that we in Africa, especially Ghana will put measures in place to protect the new born child. They are the future of this country!

There will be increased productivity if women are given a conducive environment, that supports breastfeeding and child care at work.

Men’s should be given some paid leave to support their partners who have just given birth.

And yes before I end this write up… Yes we understand the economies are different, our problems are different! But we can start from some where

Finally Kudos to #GuinessGhana for the introduction of their extended maternity leave to six months.

Waiting for the next company/organization to bring policies that will support child bearing women and breastfeeding in Ghana

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SIGNS OF AN INFECTED CORD

Sign of an infected cord include

Infected cord

The umbilical cord is a very good place for infection to get into your baby’s body.

🔴Fever

🔴Swelling of the stamp and abnormal discharge

🔴Offensive smell from the stamp

🔴The cord may also take long before detaching.

Always make sure the cord area is kept dry and clean

Do not apply substances that your doctor/midwife has not prescribed.

Always wash your hands and use sterile cotton as well as the prescribed solution recommended by your midwife to dress cord.

Report immediately to the hospital if you notice cord bleeding or any sign of infection.

Neonatal sepsis is real!!!

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YOUR HEALTHY NEW BORN BABY:A MUST READ FOR MUMS AND DADS

APGAR SCORE

This is exactly what you should expect

🔴Baby will cry right after birth. The cry will not be weak

🔴The skin color will be pink. Blue or pale skin is an indication of reduced oxygen. Report yellowish skin color as well

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🔴Weight will be between an average of 2.5 to 3.5kg. Babies who are underweight or over weight may need extra care.

🔴Baby will breath with ease between 40 to 60 cpm

🔴The heart rate/pulse will be also checked and it should read between 110 to 160 bpm

🔴Baby will be active.

New born baby with a good skin color

🔴Baby will also be able to breastfeed. Report if baby cannot latch on the breast

🔴Also examine your new born from head to toe. Report any abnormality you see. Check the back as well and report any abnormality.

🔴If baby does not pass meconium or urine in the first few days. Report as soon as possible.

🔴A new born vomiting, having high temperature or convulsing is not normal as well.

🔴Baby may need some resuscitation and some extra care if the above indications are not present. Alert your health care professional right away.

🔴Don’t be afraid to ask your midwife how your child is doing. It’s your right to be informed.

Contact me on +233242281957 or email ruthsallykodam@gmail.com. Thank you. Share.

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SEX DURING PREGNANCY-IS IT SAFE?

Keep Her Happy

This is one of the questions most new couples who are expecting for the first time will ask.

While some are scared it can cause miscarriage others believe it can result in developmental problems

Some men will also completely avoid their wives with the intention of protecting the unborn baby and also to give their partners some space.

Some women will also avoid having sex due to the hormonal and emotional changes that occur with pregnancy

It is worth knowing that sex during pregnancy is #safe and does not pose a problem to the mum or unborn baby. Baby is enclosed in its sac/membranes and the opening of the uterus the cervix is also closed. It also has a mucus plan that prevents any thing from entering the uterus.

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What is important is to have considerations. The pregnancy hormones and the early signs and symptoms can make a woman not to desire to be intimate. It’s important for her partner to be considerate to support her through the process. There are times she will want to be intimate, there are times she will refrain. Make use of her happy days.

Some few women who have had repeated abortions or threatened abortions may be advised by their doctors or midwives to avoid sex especially if an incompetent cervix is diagnosed.

Couples can have sex throughout the pregnancy period. It is only to be avoided when your doctor or midwife advises you against it due to your health condition or as mentioned above.

During the last trimester, couples can still have sex. What is needed is to assume a position that will not put pressure on the abdomen and also the woman will be comfortable. It should also be gentle.

During the last trimester when labor is about to set in, it is believed to help trigger the onset of labor. The semen also contains prostaglandin which also helps to soften the cervix and help labor to start.

Its also important to know that, you really do not need sex to maintain your pregnancy. Baby is safe and mum is also safe. Women should not be compelled to have sex if they don’t feel like or are currently not in any relationship whilst pregnant. Labor will still be initiated naturally. Just keep a healthy life style.

It’s important for women to feel supported and loved during pregnancy. Helping her to stay emotionally stable will help her have a positive outcome of pregnancy.

Mum and baby needs your love

Tell her you love her, support her, remind her to stay healthy, and keep her happy. Above all be intimate with her. You will be her Hero…

Also discuss all your concerns about sex before deciding what to do. Remember having unprotected sex during pregnancy (STI) can still result in sexually transmitted infection. Use a barrier method to prevent STI.

Ladies, it’s important that you maintain your personal hygiene daily. Doing this will boost your confidence and also help you to stay emotionally sound. You are very prone to infections during pregnancy due to the hormonal changes. Do take care of yourself and report immediately to the hospital if you have any signs of infection example.. Pain during sexual intercourse, burning sensation during urination, lower abdominal pain, itchy vulva and severe abdominal pains.

If after sex you have spotting, bleeding or severe lower abdominal pain during pregnancy, Put a stop to it. Report to the hospital for further investigations and care. Thank you

Share your thoughts as well.

Join our support group on Facebook- Mumschat (Reproductive and Child Health) to learn more.

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