In our previous article we touched on understanding high risk pregnancy , this month we will be taking a look at the reasons behind premature birth in more detail, on both a local and international scale. As well as preparing for the inevitable.
A woman’s duty…
Depending on your background and upbringing, generally speaking we live in a society where there is a lot of pressure on women to perform at work and as a wife and mother at home etc. Owning your own business brings its own challenges. The bottom line…most customers don’t care about what’s going on in your pregnancy, they require their job to be completed. It is their right as paying customers.
My OBGYN could have ranted and raved, I probably still would have carried on working. Ladies and Gentleman…I present to you Sian the stubborn know it all, the work-a-holic and unrealistic optimist. Thinking back on the week leading up to Olivia’s preterm birth still gives me goose bumps. There is only one word that describes the previously pregnant Sian…STUPID! A year on I am still dealing with the guilt and anger but it gets better with each new day.
I suppose the lesson here is…you will lose customers, you will need to learn to say No, you will be judged by those that claim to understand your situation. But at the end of the day, your well- being as a mother and the growing child within should be your main priority. It’s that simple.
Why is prematurity on the increase? What the experts say…
Taken from a report released by the World Health Organisation in November 2014 (1), internationally an estimate of 15 million babies are born preterm, which is more than 1 in 10 babies. In South Africa 1 in 7 babies are born preterm, and further more these statistics are made up of both low and high income groups. Basically if you live in the suburbs, your chances of having a preterm birth are matched with women living in informal settlements. Sadly more children die from being born too soon than from AIDS, malaria or diarrhoea, m
~ Essential care during child birth and in the postnatal period for every mother and baby
~ More than three- quarters of premature babies can be saved with feasible, cost-effective care (2)
~ Antenatal steroid injections (given to pregnant women at risk of preterm labour and meeting set criteria to strengthen the babies’ lungs)
~ Kangaroo mother care (the baby is carried by the mother with skin-to-skin contact and frequent breastfeeding)
~ Babies are fed with the mothers or donated breastmilk
~ Antibiotics to treat newborn infections
To reduce preterm birth rates:
~ Women need better access to family planning
~ Increased empowerment
~ Improved care before, between and during pregnancies
What can I do?
But what you are in control of is…
No one likes to think about prematurity, most couples strive to have a healthy pregnancy and give birth without any nasty surprises. Nobody wants to think of “the what if…?” Believe me I know…I was assured by my OBGYN that I would be able to give birth naturally with my God given curves. But pregnancy and childbirth are unpredictable…and further more you’re not in control!
1. Paying attention to your health at all times and more so once pregnancy is suspected or has been confirmed
2. Early booking at an antenatal clinic is essential – we recommend this is before 12 weeks and that check-ups are done every few months or weeks according to the risks involved
3. Find out where your nearest antenatal clinic is from your community health worker, nearest clinic or hospital or GP
4. Pregnancies should be planned and spaced – 18-24 months is recommended between pregnancies.
5. Attention must be paid to healthy eating and lifestyle.
6. More than 3⁄4 of babies born prematurely can be saved with cost effective care before, during and after birth.
7. Support & Preparation Besides relying on support from those around you. Chubby Bunny is there to make the journey a little less stressful
Through education & support, Chubby Bunny’s main objective is to support families whose lives have been touched by prematurity.
Chubby Bunny is the first company in South Africa to supply critical starter packs for premmies.
We supply high quality goods ensuring the little miracle is well cared for, from organic skin care sensitive for their soft skin, petite clothing small enough to wrap around their tiny bodies, Premmie nappies, a Premmie Support Booklet equipped to help parents understand the NICU and how to care for their Premmies. These hampers can be shipped overnight to main centres South Africa.
Moment by Moment…a journey of a premature birth ~ SPECIAL EVENT
Next month…Picking up the pieces.
- Preterm Birth WHO report, Fact Sheet No. 363 (2) Groote Schuur Newborn Trust Fact Sheet 2015
- November is World Prematurity Month, join us for a great day of informative speakers & awesome raffle prizes. Limited seats available, book now by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org