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Semantee Chattopadhyay
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Maternal health is the health of women during pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period. It encompasses the health care dimensions of family planning, preconception, prenatal and posts natal care to ensure a positive and fulfilling experience in most cases and reduce maternal mortality and morbidity. The effect of a mother’s death results in vulnerable families and their infants.
Maternal health is the indicator of the well-being of our future generation. Malnutrition child imposes the greatest nutrition-related health burden at the global level. 161 million children are stunted due to chronic malnutrition. Ninety-nine million children are underweight. 45% of child deaths are caused by a child in maternal malnutrition. Sustainable development goal 3 aims to reduce maternal mortality as well as under-five deaths by 2030. Both of these goals are intricately linked. The state of health of an adolescent girl influences her nutritional status during her pregnancy and lactation this reflects upon the infant’s health which has some role in the health of the child as he or she grows into an adult. So what happens when maternal health goes down? A vicious cycle of ill health ensues. Pregnancy-related complications like obstructed labour, postpartum haemorrhage, low birth weight babies and increased maternal and foetal mortality are among the outcomes. A low birth weight baby is more likely to suffer from infections, which result in poor health leading to greater susceptibility to infections and so the cycle continues resulting in a malnourished individual. As a part of a global village, we must remember that one can’t thrive while the other suffers. There should be community education on a nutritious diet and child feeding. There should be the integration of nutrition education into smallholder farming. The empowerment of women is of utmost importance. Proper prenatal care, promotion of breastfeeding and family planning is also very important.