Medical &Health

Medical care during pregnancy vital to prevent neonatal mortality

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 & 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

mother safe.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)