The crucial moments

Published : May 06, 2005 00:00 IST


PROVIDING timely care for the pregnant woman is as important as ensuring that she has access to medical services. According to studies, the three most common delays that lead to maternal deaths are delay in taking decisions, reaching care and receiving care.

Important dos:

* Once an emergency occurs, get the woman to a hospital without delay to save her life.

* Ensure complete antenatal care during pregnancy including 3 check-ups, 2 doses of tetanus toxoid vaccine and iron tablets for 100 days.

* Use the services of an auxiliary nurse midwife, nurse, or doctor to attend the delivery.

* Get a postpartum check-up within the first 4-6 hours and for 7 days following the delivery.

* Use clean sanitary pads or cloths after delivery to avoid infection of the birth canal.

* Breastfeed the baby within one hour of delivery to prevent postpartum haemorrhage.

* In India, the most common cause of death during pregnancy, childbirth and soon after is excessive bleeding. If excessive bleeding occurs rush the mother to a hospital that has a blood bank. Be prepared with the mother's blood group and identify a person who will be willing to donate blood even before the time of delivery.

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