Sayma Akter, (pseudonym) 28, took all the
necessary medical care during her whole pregnancy period, but decided to give
birth to her first child at home instead of the nearest hospital. During the
delivery, her child got stuck for some time midway, leaving the baby much
weak, with respiratory problems.
Sayma’s family members ultimately rushed the mother and the baby to the
nearest hospital, where the attending doctors referred the both to
specialized hospitals in the district town, saying it would be difficult for
the baby to survive without specialized treatments as he is very weak and
finding it hard to breath.
“Government has set up different hospitals, clinics in district, upazila
and even village-level to evade the problems usually faced by new mothers and
children. These health facilities have all the necessary equipment and
experts to provide health care to women during their pregnancy period and
delivery time. In spite of these, many are giving birth in their homes, which
can be fatal for the mothers and their newborns,” Programme Manager of
“Matrisastho Kormosuchi” of Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) Dr
Ajijul Hakim told BSS.
Experts said they consider a baby aged between 1 to 28 days as newborn and
this period is very critical for the baby.
“A newborn can die for different reasons. There are three main reasons,
one, any kind of infection, two, breathing problems, three, diarrhea. Apart
from these, if the mother is underage, her baby will be at risk to die. An
underage mother doesn’t have the appropriate physical condition to hold a
baby in her womb and deliver it properly. She cannot take care of herself,”
said Prof Dr Anwara Begum.
The former Dhaka Medical College Hospital Gynaecology &amp; Obstetrics
Department head further said that the expectant mother has to take iron,
calcium and folic acid supplements during her pregnancy period and has to
take proper rest or sleep a total of 12 hours in a day.
Prof Dr Anwara Begum said many expectant mothers suffer from high blood
pressure, diabetes, asthma, and blood deficiency, which can ultimately lead
to postpartum complications.
Talking about how to bring down the risk of neonatal death, Bangladesh
Neonatal Forum President and Paediatrics Professor Dr Tahmina Begum said a
newborn can die for different reasons.
“To avoid this, proper care of an expectant mother and during her labour is
much important. If an expectant mother has asthma, high blood pressure,
diabetes or thyroid, she has to take treatment. If a baby is born premature
or underweight, he or she has to be taken into an incubator to keep him warm.
If the incubator remains unavailable, the family must take advice from the
doctor how to keep the baby worm,” Professor Dr Tahmina Begum said.
The paediatrics professor further said it is important to keep the baby
clean to avoid risks of infection. She opined for using appropriate kit for
cutting umbilical cord, wrapping the newborn with clean and hygienic
clothing, sanitizing hands before taking the baby into arms, among other
steps to keep the baby safe.
Save the Children, Bangladesh’s Strengthening National Midwifery Program
(SNMP) Senior Manager Dr Moshtak Ahmed said now same medical care is given to
new mother and her baby as like in the developed countries.
“We apply appropriate drops on the cord stump so that no infection takes
place. The babies, who are born premature or underweight, are brought under
Kangaroo Mother Service. We have given necessary training to health experts
in each level to keep the new mothers and their babies’ safe,” he added.
All the experts the correspondent has contacted emphasized on proper
medical care during pregnancy to prevent neonatal mortality and keep the new
Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)