Filtered by: Maternal Healthcare <Back to previous page A deadly diseaseBy Sue Hanley. Angong was expecting her third baby. After a good pregnancy she was eagerly awaiting the birth. The birth pains began while she was collecting water. She returned home and prepared for the birth. There were two or three women in her village who helped at the birth of babies, so a message was sent to one of them to come and assist. Adding nutritional value to foodIncreasing the nutritional value of available food is often easy to do at low cost, simply by combining foods and fruits in different ways. Here are some useful ideas to improve nutrition for both children and adults. An effective caring family planning programmeDrs Steve and Margaret Brown with Marian Storkey. Does your area have an effective and caring family planning programme, or are you considering how to improve or set up such a programme? Whatever the situation in your area, here are four key points to think about. Anastausia's knotty problemby Dr Steve Brown. I would like to open the discussion about the knotty problem of women like Anastausia who are given oxytocics, either by village healers, in the form of roots (‘Knotty Problems’ in Footsteps No.7) or, as I have seen in Bangladesh, by village ‘doctors’, in the form of oxytocin injections or tablets. The problem, of course, is that oxytocics are powerful stimulants of muscles in the womb and that, when given in a high or uncontrolled dose before the baby is delivered can cause ... Bible study: Childbirth in the BibleChildbirth in the Bible by Rev Meagan Manas and Helen Gaw. These three Bible studies can be used together or separately. The opening activity can be used before any or all of the discussions. Breast is still bestA recent report confirms that worrying pressures are put on mothers with new babies by companies keen to improve sales of baby milk. The Interagency Group on Breast-feeding Monitoring (IGBM) recently published a report showing that many companies – including Nestlé, Gerber, Milco, Nutricia and Wyeth – were promoting bottle-feeding among pregnant and new mothers, breaking an International Code agreed in 1981. The group found that health workers were also breaking the Code – for ... Community education for better maternal healthImproving maternal mortality in rural Afghanistan, as in many parts of the world, means facing multiple challenges. EditorialMost health workers would agree that working with mothers and children is the most important part of health work in a community. This is because the health needs of mothers and children are especially great and because mothers with children make up over half the population. In this issue we can only look at a few of the many subjects concerning mother and child health. But we hope that this issue will bring some helpful new ideas to discuss and try out. Let us know of other subjects you ... Encouraging young children to eatby Ann Burgess. The amount children eat depends on the food they are offered, their appetite and how their mothers or other carers feed them Family planning saves livesThe lives of 5.6 million children and 200,000 women could all be saved each year if all the women who wanted to limit their families had access to family planning. Fatimas choiceBy Dr Margaret Brown. This is a true story from Bangladesh, helping us to understand several points about a family planning programme. Feeding young childrenThe three food groups A child’s diet should include food from the three food groups: Energy foods help children play and work. These are staple foods such as maize, rice and plantain, and oils such as vegetable oil and animal fat, and sugar. Feeding young childrenby Ann Ashworth. Good food is important for good health. Children who are well fed during the first two years of life are more likely to stay healthy for the rest of their childhood. During the first six months of a child’s life, breast milk alone is the ideal food. It contains all the nutrients needed for healthy growth as well as immune factors that protect against common childhood infections. Female Health in the Indian Subcontinentby Mridula Banyopadhyay. The year 2000 is fast approaching and the goal of achieving ‘Health for all’ by the year 2000 is staring at us. In spite of all the programmes and policies to deliver primary health care, health for all has not been achieved in most of the developing countries of the world. Giving birthSigns that labour is near These three signs show that labour is starting or will start soon. They may not all happen, and they can happen in any… Goal 4 Reduce child mortalityThe target for this goal is to reduce by two thirds the number of deaths in children under five. Goal 5 Improve maternal healthOne of the targets for this goal is to reduce by three quarters the number of women dying in childbirth. Helping those with small voicesby Andrew Tomkins. Recent years have seen huge changes both in awareness and in the availability of medicines for the treatment of adults with HIV and AIDS. Effective international advocacy has helped to reduce the prices of anti-retroviral drugs (ARVs). Many more people with HIV and AIDS can now receive treatment, often free of charge. At a recent AIDS conference in Bangkok, there were many reports of success. The World Health Organisation aims to support treatment for an extra three million ... HIV and breastfeedingby Ann Ashworth. The HIV virus can be passed from an HIV-infected mother to her baby. This is called mother-to-child transmission (MTCT). It can occur during pregnancy, labour and delivery, and through breast-feeding. Antiretroviral drugs such as Nevirapine reduce the risk of MTCT. How Mother Buddies and their mobiles are saving lives and uniting familiesMy name is Mama Eve* and I live in North Kivu in the Democratic Republic of Congo. I live in an area where many women and babies often die at birth… Knotty ProblemSue Hanley, a midwife with experience in Sudan and Kenya, provides some helpful answers to Dorothy’s problems, concerning traditional practices at birth in the area of Cuzco, Peru (Footsteps No. 4). Knotty problemsWomen in the rural Cajamarca area of Cuzco, Peru, have many traditional beliefs concerning pregnancy and birth. Some of these beliefs case real problems for health workers who are trying to improve health care in the area. For example: Letters Using aprons in teaching I would like to contribute an idea to the magazine. We work a lot with children and parents. We run circus performances to… Maghoo’s fifth baby survives‘At last the joy of seeing a living child in my lap!’ Maghoo was delighted to have her first baby boy delivered at home by a trained traditional birth attendant (TBA). Making a birth plan As well as the question ‘when?’, a birth plan needs to answer the questions ‘who?’, ‘where?’, ‘how?’ and ‘what?’ Maternal health information at your fingertipsOne way of learning and improving your work is to ask for feedback from others. These can be people you serve, or your peers, who can give insight into areas you need to change and encouragement about what you are doing well. 'Men are treated like kings here' Faith Alive, a hospital based in Jos, Nigeria, has deliberately taken steps to involve men in its antenatal services, which include HIV testing for the prevention of parent-to-child transmission of HIV. Mother BuddiesHIV and maternal mortality have been called ‘the two intersecting epidemics’ (The Lancet). A pregnant woman who is living with HIV is six times more likely to die in pregnancy or childbirth than a woman who is not living with HIV. N1 A healthy dietGood food is important for good health. Most people depend on one or two staple foods for much of what they eat. This may be a cereal (such as rice,… N10 Customs and taboosAll cultures have various traditional beliefs and customs concerning food. Sometimes people eat special foods at festivals. Some foods may be avoided… N16 People with special food needsOur food needs change through our lives. In the first few years of life, plenty of foods for building and protecting the body are necessary to build… N17 BreastfeedingDuring the first six months of a child’s life, breast milk alone is the ideal food. It contains all the nutrients and water needed for healthy… N18 Feeding babiesChildren who are well fed during the first two years of life are more likely to stay healthy for the rest of their childhood. Breast-milk alone can… N19 Improving porridges and soupsPorridges prepared from the staple, and soups, are often used as early complementary foods. However, these are usually watery and contain little… N2 Why we need different foodsThe food we eat has three main functions; to give us energy, to build and repair our bodies and to protect us from disease. Most foods have a mixture… N20 Encouraging young children to eatMealtimes should be happy times and an opportunity for the family to spend time together. Feed young children with the rest of the family but give… N21 Healthy snacksSnacks are foods eaten between meals. Nutritious snacks are an easy way to give a young child extra food. Snacks should be easy to prepare. N3 Improving a poor dietA healthy diet is directly linked to good health. It is particularly important for pregnant women, babies and young children. Well-nourished babies… N4 Traditional foodsOne hundred years ago, the diet of people in our local area was probably much better and more varied than it is today. This is not because people had… N5 Ideas for using pulsesAll kinds of pulses are excellent sources of nutrients. When dried they can be stored easily for a long time. Pulses should be an important part of… N6 Vegetables and fruitsMany people believe that newly introduced vegetables such as lettuce and cabbage are better than traditional vegetables. In fact the opposite is… N7 Preventing anaemiaAnaemia is one of the most common conditions resulting from a poor diet. It is often caused by a lack of the mineral iron in the diet. Iron is needed… Obstetric Fistula an unknown tragedyby Dr Steven Arrowsmith. Recently, women's health issues have begun to receive long-deserved attention from the international community. However, one of the greatest tragedies facing women in the developing world today remains relatively unknown. It is well known that women in poorer countries in the world face an appalling risk of death during childbearing. However, for every woman who dies in labour, many more are injured. Organising for immunizationby Sandra Michie. The needs Years ago in Zambia our tiny mission hospital was regularly over-filled with epidemic patients. Whooping cough and measles were the two worst and best remembered epidemics. In 1967 at least one child died from measles in every surrounding village. Often three or more died and since villages were very small - often with just one extended family - you can imagine the grief and despair. Posters to encourage group discussionThe ideas for these posters have come from work carried out by Veronika Scherbaum with the Oromo people in South Ethiopia, who have many traditional beliefs concerning mother and child care. Posters can be used to help encourage discussion of what people believe and why. Together this can lead to developing a more positive understanding of healthy mother and child care. Try adapting these posters to use among your community. Practical methods for spacing familiesThere are many ways of helping couples to space their families. The most suitable method depends on what is available, the needs of the couple, and on their beliefs about which methods are appropriate. Preparing to give birth A choice for womenby Dr Maureen Dar Iang. In some countries in the world, women can choose how and where they would like to give birth. Different kinds of care are available. Often women can choose whether to give birth in a hospital or at home. Recognising danger signs in pregnancyWeakness and tiredness: Weakness and tiredness could be caused by weak blood (anaemia). See Maghoo’s fifth baby survives for more information. Pain… Resources Previous Footsteps on women’s health Footsteps 3 Family spacing Footsteps 8 Mother and child care Footsteps 24 Women’s health issues Footsteps 69… Retraining nurses to provide healthcare for womenby Dr Ann Thyle. In India, more women die of complications during pregnancy and childbirth than from any other cause. Nearly all these deaths are preventable. Many health problems during pregnancy are not recognised or treated because of poor access to healthcare. Saving a mother's lifeIt is tragic when a woman dies in childbirth. The family is changed forever. We need to ask ‘Why did she die?’ Usually there is not just one answer to that question. Often there are lots of problems mixed up together. Imagine many pieces of string tangled up in a ball. We have to untangle the ball to see the different pieces of string. Then the problems are clearer and we can start to see some solutions. The immunisation handMany people have difficulty remembering the schedule for childhood immunisation. This means that children often miss some or all of a series of immunisations that can protect them against polio, hepatitis B, diphtheria, tetanus, and other preventable diseases. The IPASC programme for Safe Motherhoodby Kaswera Vulere. The Safe Motherhood Programme at IPASC (Institut Panafricain de Santé Communautaire), Nyankunde in the Democratic Republic of the Congo recently extended its work in the local communities. Mothers join small groups where they can discuss problems and find their own solutions, according to local culture and the available local resources. We also hope to start discussions and workshops for young people, couples and women who have reached the menopause. The worlds missing womenKala Devi lives with her husband and seven daughters in the slums of Delhi. When I met her, she was pregnant again. Despite the expense, she had been for a scan. Finding it was a boy, the family had brought sweets for everyone to celebrate. If it had been a girl, she might well have had an abortion. Traditional birth attendantsBy Dr Godwill Asiimwe Okiror. Traditional birth attendants (TBAs) are found in most societies. They are usually older ladies. They conduct over two thirds of the deliveries in the world, yet the majority are illiterate and are not trained in modern medicine. Traditional ways of preparing foodThere is a lot to be learned from previous generations as Professor Andrew Tomkins explains... 1. Fermented foods W10 BreastfeedingDuring the first six months of a child’s life, breast milk alone is the ideal food. It contains all the nutrients and water needed for healthy… Weaning practices in Nepalby Sanjay Kumar Nidhi. In Nepal, weaning traditionally begins with the Rice Feeding Ceremony (Pasne) where children receive their first meal. The ceremony is performed at five months of age for a girl and six months for a boy. Where the church is the ambulanceIn parts of rural Nepal, cultural and religious beliefs can sometimes mean mothers do not get the health care and support they need.