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Safe Motherhood: Bayelsans Advised On Need For Child Spacing

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Bayelsans have been advised on the need for child spacing to guarantee healthy life for both mother and newborn.

The Special Adviser to the Governor on Maternal and Neonatal Health, Prof. Rose Ezonbodor-Akwagbe gave the advice at Adagbabiri in Sagbama Local Government Area during a visit of the Safe Motherhood Sensitisation sub-committee to the community.

Prof. Ezonbodor-Akwagbe, who noted that the World Health Organisation (WHO)-recommended period of interval between a child birth and another pregnancy should be at least 24 months, said sticking to this recommendation will give the mother time to sufficiently recover from the previous child birth.

The 24 month interval, she said, will give the mother time to replenish vital nutrients that were lost during the last child birth.

According to the S. A. on Maternal and Neonatal Health, sticking to the 24 month interval is in line with the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendation of breastfeeding for at least two years.

Ezonbodor-Akwagbe warned that not spacing children will greatly increase the risk of adverse maternal, perinatal, and infant health outcomes.

“Generally speaking, before women plan to have their next baby, they should consider among other factors, their age, access to health services as well as their economic status” she said.

While advising against girls becoming pregnant at a very tender age, Ezonbodor-Akwagbe further said that according to statistics, the chances of a woman dying during pregnancy are three times higher for teenage mothers than for women in the 20-29 age group.

According to her, giving birth too early can severely damage a girl’s reproductive and general health, causing such problems as obstructed labour, which sometimes result in bleeding to death, and vesico-vaginal fistula.

She listed the risks for a baby in situations of teenage pregnancy to include premature birth and low birth weight and stressed that waiting until at least the age of 18 years before first pregnancy helps young mothers reduce the risk of pregnancy-induced hypertension and associated complications.

Earlier, leader of the Safe Motherhood Sensitisation Sub-committee for Sagbama, Mrs Ebi Kakandar had highlighted the benefits of enrolling in the safe motherhood programme to the women of the community.

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