Maternal health refers to the health of women during pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period. While motherhood is often a positive and fulfilling experience, for too many women it is associated with suffering, ill-health and even death.
The major direct causes of maternal morbidity and mortality include haemorrhage, infection, high blood pressure, unsafe abortion, and obstructed labour.
Maternal health care is a concept that encompasses family planning, preconception, prenatal, and postnatal care. Goals of preconception care can include providing education, health promotion, screening and interventions for women of reproductive age to reduce risk factors that might affect future pregnancies. Prenatal care is the comprehensive care that women receive and provide for themselves throughout their pregnancy. Women who begin prenatal care early in their pregnancies have better birth outcomes than women who receive little or no care during their pregnancies. Postnatal care issues include recovery from childbirth, concerns about newborn care, nutrition, breastfeeding, and family planning.
Most women do not have access to the health care and sexual health education services that they need and others are not open to complications caused by pregnancy.
SEE MATERNAL DEATH