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Old 04-08-2003, 11:44 PM
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A Guide to Safe Motherhood

Safe motherhood is a woman's ability to have a safe and healthy pregnancy and delivery. Things that affect safe motherhood include the physical environment, the social environment and choices that a woman and her family make during pregnancy.

'Unfortunately motherhood is not always safe in PNG. But there are
things we can all do to make motherhood safer.
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Old 04-08-2003, 11:52 PM
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1. Plan Your Family
  • The best time for women to have babies is between the ages of 18 and 35.
  • There should be at least three years between each pregnancy.
  • Women who have more than 4 babies are at much greater risk of complications during pregnancy and delivery.
Limiting the number of children gives parents more chance of providing all their children with a healthy diet, education and the love and attention they need to grow up healthy and strong.

Couples can control when and how many children they have by using family planning. There are many different family planning methods available: condoms, pills, injections and permanent methods.

All males and females aged 16 years and over can legally be provided with contraceptives, regardless of marital status (National Family Planning Service Delivery Standards Policy, 1995 ). Ask your health worker to explain each method and decide what suits your situation.
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Old 04-08-2003, 11:56 PM
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Go to the Health Centre at Least 4 Times for Ante Natal Care

Many of the dangers of pregnancy and childbirth can be avoided if a woman goes to the health centre as soon as she thinks she might be pregnant. The health worker can find out if she really is pregnant and tell her when the baby is due. At antenatal visits, the health worker monitors the health of the mother and the development of the baby.

Pregnant women will receive medicine to prevent malaria and anaemia and an injection for tetanus. Risk factors will be detected early and complications can be treated. The health worker can help parents to plan and be ready for the birth of their baby. At least 4 antenatal checkups are recommended.
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Old 05-08-2003, 12:07 AM
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3. Be Aware of Danger Signs During Pregnancy

All families should know the warning signs that mean problems might be developing. The warning signs for pregnant women are :
  • Failure to gain weight or unusual weight gain
  • The eyelids are pale inside
  • Unusual swelling of legs, arms or face
  • Bleeding from the ******
  • Severe vomiting
  • Severe headaches
  • High Fever

A pregnant woman who has any of these symptoms or any existing medical condition should seek help immediately from the nearest health worker.
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Old 05-08-2003, 12:12 AM
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4. Plan for a Supervised Delivery

Parents need to have a plan for the birth of their baby. They need to decide where they will have their baby; at home, at the health centre or in a hospital. If a home birth is planned, the environment needs to be clean, with access to clean water, a clean blade to cut the baby's cord and a clean piece of string to tie it. Soap, water and clean cloths are all needed. A clean delivery prevents infection for both mother and baby.

Planning for a safe birth also mens planning for a trained person who is a health worker, village health volunteer or village birth attendant to assist during the birth. The assistant can provide basic care and has been trained to recognise danger signs. If problems develop, the trained assistant can advise a couple to seek more specialised care. And parents need to know how they will get to a health centre quickly if problems arise during the birth.
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Old 05-08-2003, 12:16 AM
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5. Ensure Good Postnatal Care for Mother and Baby

Care doesn't end at the baby's birth. Baby needs to be breast-fed and immunised 6 times before their first birthday. Mother needs rest, a balanced diet, good hygiene and gentle exercise. A couple should use family planning to ensure a space of 3 years between each pregnancy.

Husbands, families and communities need to support women during pregnancy, birth and afterwards. Husbands and families can provide practical and emotional support including assistance to go to the health centre, making sure a pregnant women gets good food and enough rest, helping with household duties, caring for other children, and gardening.

Communities can help by providing emergency transport, ensuring community airstrips are open and ensuring water, radio and power supplies at the health centre are functioning at all times.

Motherhood is Special - Let's mkae it safe !
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