What is maternal wellness? That is a very broad question to be honest. Let me start from the beginning and introduce myself first. My name is Karin Denkers I’m a 26 year old midwife from Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Over the past years I helped delivering over 400 babies and I can tell you I have a pretty clear vision of what maternal wellness should be.
Maternal wellness is a topic that keep everyone over the entire world very busy. Because what is maternal wellness and how do we deal with it? It’s a very delicate subject mainly because you have the responsibilty of two lives in your hands. Especially for the health care workers in this field it is always very challenging. There are so many people and with so many people, even more wishes and demands come along. The most important thing what we all agree on from north to south and from east to west is the mother and baby deserve the best possible health care and should be safe and happy and healthy in the end.
Unfortunately there is still a lot of unequality in the world. And the maternal mortality rate (How many deaths there are per 100000 live births) is still high worldwide, though it’s already been reduced a lot, there is still a lot to do. Daily worldwide 800 woman die from preventable causes related to childbirth.
Now this is also a challenge because in many countries in the world the health care is not on the level it is in other parts in the world. There is a big difference in delivering your baby in a third world country or delivering your baby in a first world country, also the demands of the people are very different.
Where in a first world country people care most about support and how they are going to deliver and how the ambience is. In third world countries people only think about how they will survive the childbirth and if they will survive it. The problem here is basically money. Everything in this world cost money and so is qualitative health care. Therefore it is not accesible for a huge group uf people living in poor circumstances. And the challenge for us is how do we make this quality health care available for every single person on this earth? Isn’t that what we all want? Give every child a great start in life?
I worked in many different countries e.a. Africa and South-America and I came across some very challenging sitations, but one thing I learned from all this is that maternal wellness in every country should be about putting the mother and child first. Maternal wellness should be about every person having access to trained health care workers and trained people to attend their deliveries so they should feel safe and that there is someone able to keep an eye on if the progress is normal. Maternal wellness should be about not risking any life, but giving the mother oppurtunities and their own decisions without making the choices for them. It should be about giving them acces to information so they can make well weighed decisions. It should be about their physical and mental wellness and be about their happiness, because after all it should be a happy new life experience! It should be about them and them only!
So there is a lot of improvement to be done by the world related to maternal death!