Maternal Health & COVID-19
Maternal Health is the health of women during pregnancy, childbirth, and the period afterwards. It is a global concern because the lives of millions of women of reproductive age and children can be saved through maternal health care services.
All pregnant women – including those suspected or confirmed with COVID-19 – should continue to attend antenatal visits and deliver with a skilled health provider to optimize health outcomes for both themselves and their newborns. And, given the vulnerability of newborns during the first days of life, postnatal care services for mothers and their babies must continue to be prioritized.
WHAT IS COVID-19?
COVID-19 is a deadly and high communicable disease caused by coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2. The World Health Organization (WHO) first learned of this new virus on 31 December 2019, in Wuhan, People’s Republic of China. According to the World Health Organization, 118,159,602 people have died due to complications arising from COVID-19 globally and Nigeria records a total of 1,982 deaths.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are:
- Dry Cough
- Shortness of breath
- Loss of appetite
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- High temperature (above 38 degrees)
Pregnant women have been included in the list of people at moderate risk (clinically vulnerable) of the disease.
Safety Precautions for pregnant women during COVID-19
- Wash your hands regularly.
- Use your face masks.
- Stay at home as much as possible and follow the advice on social distancing such as staying at least 2 meters (3 steps) away from other people.
- Stay away from anyone who has symptoms of coronavirus.
- You still need to go to all your pregnancy (antenatal) scans and appointments unless you are told not to by a doctor.
- Keep safe and hydrated.
- Stay active with your regular exercise. A healthy balanced diet, and vitamin D supplements to help support a healthy pregnancy.
- Contact your birth attendants if you have concerns about your wellbeing or the health of your unborn baby.
We are dedicated to improving the health of mothers, pregnant women, and children under the age of five in Nigeria. We achieve this by disseminating best practices; investing in environmental sanitation; providing technical assistance; training traditional birth attendants on health challenges that affect pregnant women and children; and educating women in rural areas on basic knowledge on maternal health. Our goal is to promote healthy children, healthy families, and healthy communities. In the course of our projects, we have provided over 62,000 birthing kits to traditional birth attendants in over 14 communities.
Written and Edited by Tomiyin Ayibiowu.