As Baines Avenue Clinic we subscribe to the notion of SAFE MOTHERHOOD – provision of high quality maternal services during pregnancy delivery and in the post partum period to ensure optimum health of the mother and infant. This means women have access to the information and care they need to go safely through pregnancy and child birth (WHO 1994)
Here are few health tips to begin with:
- Every pregnancy is unique, needs to be cherished. Acceptance and emotional preparedness are vital tools to go through the nine months. Spousal and family support is important. A woman starts communicating emotionally with the unborn child the moment she realizes that she is pregnant. Register your pregnancy with a clinic or obstetrician the moment you realize you are pregnant.
Antenatal care will ensure that any problems are detected and dealt with promptly. All essential information and care is afforded to the pregnant mother preparing her for delivery.
- Diet can never be over emphasized. Nutritional health is important for tissue growth and body maintenance for both mother and baby. We are unique individuals so our experiences are different from our mothers. There is need to maintain a healthy diet despite being pregnant. During pregnancy identify foods that cause gastric upset so as to minimize chances of vomiting in pregnancy (Hypermisis Gravidium)
- Many drugs are known to be able to cross the placental barrier and have adverse effects on pregnancy during the first trimester (First three months of the pregnancy) Drugs should be avoided unless really necessary. It is this period when most major fetal organs are being established.
Smoking is hazardous to pregnancy. There is high rate of spontaneous abortions, congenital abnormalities, fetal and neonatal deaths associated with smoking “Myles textbook for midwives 15th edition”.
Alcohol is also detrimental to the fetal growth in utero and should be avoided.
- A healthy body and a healthy mind make a complete being. Exercises done in moderation and taken regularly enhance tissue perfusion. Exercises also help alleviate stress and help a pregnant woman go through any challenges pregnancy may bring.
- Prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV(PMTCT). Every pregnant mother should know their status for proper management of mother and the child after birth. Testing HIV positive is not a death penalty. With proper management babies are testing HIV negative. Shared confidentiality with the significant other is vital. For those who test HIV negative at conception, bear in mind that the baby can be infected during pregnancy birth and during breastfeeding .Continued counseling helps parents to maintain healthy living and remain negative.
- No other food is superior to breast milk when it comes to infant feeding .However, should breastfeeding become impossible informed choices should be made. It is important that before the baby arrives the parents are confident of the method they are going to use.
Ask your obstetrician to get you in touch with the pediatrician who is going take care of your baby. This helps you to make an informed choice rather than being forced to make a decision when the baby is born. Remember babies who are to breastfeed are to do so within the first hour of delivery.