Date: August 23, 2017

Everything you need to know about maternal health

Maternal health means the health of the future mothers during pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum period. Providing care for mothers in this period will lead to a lot of benefits; it will keep the mothers healthy during the pregnancy and after delivery, will make the delivery easier and safer and keeping the mother healthy after the delivery.
Maternal health is mainly composed of 4 phases that every mother should know about.

1. Premarital and preconception care:
It is seeking care before marriage and before pregnancy. Seeking for care in the phase assesses the young woman and her husband in achieving the optimal health before conception and it detects any potential risk to pregnancy.
It is composed of:
– Health education about family life, sexual relation and idea about family planning.
– Examinations: A lot of examinations can be done at this phase like complete family history for genetic diseases, full medical examination and investigations like urine investigation and full blood picture.
– Immunization: especially for rubella. Rubella vaccination should be taken three months before the expected pregnancy.

2. Prenatal care:

This phase is so important for many reasons:
– It ensures and maintains the health of the expectant mothers.
– It educates and prepares the expectant females psychologically for motherhood.
– It is important to check up for the possible complications during pregnancy and to take up preventive and medical measures.
– If a high risk case is detected, it is referred to a hospital.
The doctor at this phase should build a trusting relationship with the mother. The follow-up and the visits should be scheduled. Health education about the dangerous signs of pregnancy and the nutritional assessment are essential too.

3. Intra-natal care:
Now it is the delivery time. Normal labour is the process of delivery of the baby through the birth canal without assistance or complications and that what should be maintained in this phase.
The site of delivery should be decided by the mother. Home is preferred in normal and non-complicated cases. It should be a sanitary housing condition, assisted by trained personnel and ensure referral of the case in emergency. Hospital should be limited for complicated cases only but some normal cases prefer the hospital for safety.
The main aims of intra-natal care are:
– Normal conduction of delivery under complete aseptic conditions.
– Minimum possible injury to the mother and the new-born.
– Immediate care of the new-born at delivery.

4. Post-natal care:

During puerperal period mothers are visited by a nurse 3 times at the first week for examination of the child and the mother herself.
The temperature, pulse rate, blood pressure and bowl habits of the mother should be checked well.
The nurse cares for the umbilical stump of the baby, examines his/her eyes and examines for any congenital anomaly.

After delivery and during the first weeks, the mother should know everything about nutrition for her and her baby especially the promotion of breast feeding. It should learn also about the signs and symptoms of postnatal complications, how to care of her breast and nipple, know everything about personal hygiene and should have psychological support to avoid postpartum depression.

Everything you need to know about Hypertension

You may have heard people say that someone died because of hypertension or a family member is suffering from it and you ask yourself questions like what hypertension is and how to control it. Well, that is a simple guide that will show you everything you need to know about hypertension.

1. What is hypertension?
The normal blood pressure is between 120 and 80; any increase above this level is considered hypertension. The increases are categorized:
– If your blood pressure ranges from 139 to 89, you are in the pre-hypertension category.
– If your blood pressure is between 159 and 99, you have stage one hypertension and if it is above 160 and 100, then you are a severe hypertensive patient.
Notice that you may measure your blood pressure and find out that it is above the normal and yet you don’t have hypertension. Hypertension means that you have a persistent elevation of blood pressure.

2. What are the types of hypertension?

There are two types of hypertension; essential hypertension and secondary hypertension.
Essential hypertension is the most common. It is about 90% of hypertension cases and yet the causes of it are unknown. The causes may be genetic and hereditary factors, stress, salt, alcohol and hormonal disturbances but these are just assumptions and theories.
Secondary hypertension has clear causes due to certain pathological conditions as:
– Renal hypertension: Due to diseases like diabetic kidney.
– Endocrinal hypertension.
– Toxaemia of pregnancy.
About 10% of hypertension cases are of this type.

3. What are the risk factors of hypertension?
Risk factors mean that those people are more likely to get the disease. Some risk factors are:
– Age: It differs according to the type. Essential hypertension is common between 25 and 55 years while secondary hypertension can occur at any age.
– Sex: hypertension is more common among males than females.
– Hereditary: genetic factors play role in essential hypertension. It runs in the family.
– Lifestyle: People who are always busy and stressful are more likely to develop hypertension.

4. How to control hypertension?

Well, if you are a hypertensive patient, you probably know this information already.
To prevent hypertension, you need to determine the type. Essential hypertension is probably managed by prevention and control of the risk factors while secondary hypertension is controlled by curing the cause.
The advices that any doctor in the world says to his/her patients to control hypertension are:
– Activity: once your doctor controls your hypertension, he/she will advise you to have a daily exercise.
– Relax: If your work is so noisy and stressful, take a vacation and try to work in a calm environment.

– Diet: there are several tips that must be followed like avoidance of excessive salt, low caloric food for obese patients and avoidance of excess animal fat and cholesterol rich foods.
– Antihypertensive drugs are long term and need regular follow up
– Surgery may be used in some cases of secondary hypertension.

Hypertension is a dangerous and very common disease. It is fatal sometimes and has dangerous complications. Once you feel the symptoms like headache, fatigue and dizziness, don’t hesitate to go to a clinic.

Essential supplements that should be taken during pregnancy

supplements are essential during pregnancy. They make the pregnancy period and delivery easier, they are important for the mother’s health and of course the baby needs them. Eating healthy and adequate amounts of food will provide you with the most of what you need and supplements will just compensate if there is any defect in the diet. Let’s see what supplements doctors advise to take during pregnancy and why.

1. Folic acid:
There are two types of folic acid; the synthetic and the neutral. Well, we mean here the neutral folic acid.
Neutral folic acid can be found in green leafy vegetables.
The non-pregnant woman should take about 180 mg per day while the pregnant should take about 220 mg. It is difficult to get the whole amount of neutral folic acid from diet alone, that why supplements are important.
Folic acid helps for proper growth of the baby. Studies say that it extremely effective at preventing congenital malformations like development of neural tube defects.

2. Iron:
If you have iron deficiency, you probably will be so tired during pregnancy and you may suffer from anaemia which is so dangerous on your health in addition to the baby.
The non-pregnant woman should take about 15 mg iron per day and this amount is doubled to be 30 mg during pregnancy.
Iron is found in organ meat as liver, egg yolk and lean meat in addition to plant resources as nuts and green leafy vegetables.
Some people need to enhance the absorption of iron from intestine. Absorption is better with animal resources of iron and you can enhance absorption with vitamin C.

3. Calcium:

Calcium is essential for the proper growth of bones and teeth of your baby.
It can be found in cheese, egg yolk, fish, green vegetables and sesame. The amount of calcium for non-pregnant woman is 800 mg per day and this amount should increase to 1200 mg per day for pregnant women.
It may be difficult to get this amount is the pregnant woman is vegan or allergic to certain foods so calcium supplements are essential in such cases.

4. Vitamin D:
Vitamin D is like the organizer of phosphors and calcium in the body. It enhances their absorption from the intestine, re-absorption of phosphors from the renal tubules and utilization of both in the body.
So it is important for the baby’s bones, teeth and muscular development.
Pregnant women should take up to 10 mg per day.
It is available in only animal resources like egg yolk and liver and no-dietary sources like ultraviolet radiation of skin so it is highly recommended to be taken as a supplement.

Nutritional education during pregnancy is so important. The pregnant women should know everything about the proper diets and supplements during this period for the safety of herself and the baby. It is true that during pregnancy the baby takes whatever he/she wants from the mom and this will leave her depleted so consult your doctor about what supplements you may need during this time.

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