Who said pregnancy is not a matter of life and death?

Recently the internet was awash with conversations about child birth. The debate became heated; some people believe pregnancy is life threatening while others did not agree. But is it?

Every two minutes, a woman dies during pregnancy or childbirth, a 2023 report by World Health Organisation (WHO) reveals.

The report furthers shows that from 2000 to 2020, 287,000 maternal deaths were recorded worldwide. This report’s major role is to track maternal deaths nationally, regionally and internationally. The results highlight the alarming hindrances in women’s health care even after centuries.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Director-General of the WHO, while speaking at the launch of the report emphasised that pregnancy should be a good experience and a time of hope but the setbacks in healthcare haven’t made it possible.

“While pregnancy should be a time of immense hope and a positive experience for all women, it is tragically still a shockingly dangerous experience for millions around the world who lack access to high quality, respectful health care. These new statistics reveal the urgent need to ensure every woman and girl has access to critical health services before, during and after childbirth, and that they can fully exercise their reproductive rights.” he said.

Some of the reasons pregnant women die during child birth include severe bleeding, infections, pregnancy-related complications or unsafe abortion, high blood pressure, HIV/AIDS infections and other underlying conditions.

Find a gynaecologist you can trust and rely on

In this era where there are family doctors in every WhatsApp group and so many assuming experts, you should be able to identify one specialist to travel the journey with. It’s not about the expertise; find a gynaecologist who you are comfortable with, who allows you to express and define what you’re feeling. Don’t take medical advice about your pregnancy from anyone.

Seek for a second opinion

Sometimes it is safer to hear from different sources before coming to a conclusion, especially in such a condition. Whatever results are presented, seek a second opinion and compare the outcome, it may save you a lot of damage and pain.

Avoid high heat environments

Research by Oxford Journals shows that exposing expecting mothers to excess heat may increase the chances of a miscarriage. However relaxing and soothing the hot tub bath, sauna or jacuzzi may be, don’t put your baby’s life or yours in danger.

Reduce caffeine intake

A cup or two a day is enough but more than that will affect the baby, because experts have proven that caffeine can travel to the placenta and increase the baby’s heartbeat.

Don’t take raw milk products

Calcium is highly recommended for expecting mothers but the source needs to be validated before consumption.

Avoid raw meats

Undercooked or raw meats including sausages, salami and chipolatas may harbour dangerous bacteria. Ensure that meats are cooked thoroughly before consumption. For the sake of the baby’s wellbeing, consult your doctor for food suggestions.

Don’t smoke

According to a survey by the USA National Institute of Health, children born to mothers who smoke are more likely to have defects or suffer disability in the future.

In addition, due to physiologic nicotine addiction, children whose mothers smoke during pregnancy are likely to smoke at a tender age and later become regular smokers.

Stay away from alcohol

Imagine the hangover alcohol brings even when you just take a shot. Now think about the delicate baby you’re carrying; scientists have investigated the effects of alcohol on expecting women and some of the findings were;

Children born to alcoholic women may suffer from Faetal Alcohol Syndrome. (FAS)

Too much weight gain is not healthy

Because of pregnancy-induced cravings, most expecting women eat more than the required calories, hence gaining too much weight, which may harm the baby. Whereas you’re eating for two people, keep it within the required calories because you need to be in good shape when labour approaches.

Overall, every mother’s wish is to have a smooth pregnancy and a healthy baby, although a few mothers die in the process due to many differing reasons. For your wellbeing and that of your baby, walk enough, exercise, eat well, sleep, drink water and avoid stress.


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