Safe Motherhood: What we should have done otherwise
When we bury our wives,daughters and mothers of our children and sisters we need to reflect on what we could have done to make pregnancy safer for them.
Safe motherhood refers to a situation in which no woman going through the physiological processes of pregnancy and childbirth suffers any injury or looses her life. Family planning is a means by which individuals and couples regulate or space childbirth so as to achieve a desired number of children and safeguard the health of the mother.
Maternal mortality is one of the measures of the state of health and quality of healthcare in a society. The death of a woman has devastating effects on the whole family. It is a tragic loss to the family,community and nation as a whole.
Nigerians are harnessing the right to define their future with the aid of child birth spacing. Couples are discussing when to have children and how large they want their families to be. While the use of modern methods still vary, based on regions, reflective of traditional and cultural norms, more women than ever have the desire and means to access a range of high quality contraceptives to regulate childbirth for both economic and health reasons.
Childbirth spacing does not only empower women to space their pregnancies, it also saves lives of both the mother and child. The causes of maternal death stem from a lack of information and general inadequacy. Inadequacy of knowledge about signs of complication of pregnancy, and danger signal during labour, inability to access health facilities, inadequate skilled personnel, non-utilization of childbirth spacing methods and inadequate equipment and supplies.
How does child birth spacing reduce maternal mortality? When there is enough interval between one pregnancy and another it allows the mother to rest between pregnancies in order to regain her health and strength, therefore, reducing the risk of complications during or after pregnancy.
The modern family planning/childbirth spacing methods available in Nigeria are pills, injectable implants, intra-uterine devices, male and female condoms, exclusive breastfeeding method, tubal ligation and vasectomy.
Family planning/childbirth spacing does not cause infertility, as commonly assumed, for some women’s fertility returns soon after contraception method is removed or discontinued. For others there might be some delay but in time the woman will return to her own fertility
There is no best method of contraception because there are different reasons for using family planning. Some couples use family planning to space their children and some do not want any more children. The best is the one which suits the needs of the couple, therefore the services of health providers are required to make a good choice.
The question here is, what can be otherwise done to save the life of the mother? The media being a powerful agent of social change can help to enlighten the people on childbirth spacing and maternal mortality reduction, so as to create necessary awareness and knowledge, that could potentially save the lives of so many pregnant women in the society which could be in danger, if they are not exposed to the required knowledge and information at the appropriate time.
Safe motherhood is a collective responsibility of all stakeholders, therefore the media being a critical stakeholder has a responsibility to create the necessary atmosphere through the dissemination of information to ensure safe motherhood in the country.