Mothers in underdeveloped countries are at serious risk when becoming pregnant. Not only does the condition of the mother impact the baby, but the completely natural occurrence of giving birth can cause the woman’s death. When a mother is ill, whether she is expecting her baby or she is nursing and caring for her baby, disease affects everyone. While having a baby should be a joyous occasion, many women are fraught with devastating circumstances and indescribable emotional and physical suffering.
Conditions for birth are unsanitary for the mother and child. Medical equipment and even medical personnel are normally not available. Even women who work as mid-wives are not necessarily properly trained so the woman is on her own during childbirth. Pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum stages are very difficult for women in poor countries. The World Health Organization indicates that “the major direct causes of maternal morbidity and mortality include haemorrhage, infection, high blood pressure, unsafe abortion, and obstructed labour”. Thus, the fifth Millennium goal includes targets to prevent maternal deaths and to provide information for planned pregnancies.
Target 1: Reduce by three quarters the maternal mortality ratio
Target 2: Achieve, by 2015, universal access to reproductive health
Many issues must be addressed to fight maternal disease and death. The rate of women who die in childbirth could be reduced by the availability of trained health professionals. And this does not necessarily mean doctors and nurses but at the very least people who have some knowledge to help the women should things go wrong. In addition, women should be made aware of contraceptives and should be given access to them. Young girls should be taught about intercourse and the consequences of having babies so that they plan to have children when they are older and not in their teen years. And lastly, women should have access to medical visits through temporary medical stations and locally trained personnel.
Despite, the large numbers of women dying, there are definite signs that progress is being made. And it comes sometimes in very odd but extremely practical ways.
Millinneum Development Goals as they relate to Breastfeeding