- Initiative focused on the importance of mother and child healthcare during COVID 19
- Dos & DONTs for Pregnant Women during COVID19
Kolkata: White Ribbon Alliance West Bengal (WRAWB) took several initiatives on the National Safe Motherhood Day 2020 throughout West Bengal. White Ribbon Alliance West Bengal distributed Hand Sanitizer among Police, Healthcare Staffs, Media, Sweepers and Mothers on National Safe Motherhood Day in Kolkata and other parts of West Bengal. This year, the Theme of the initiative is “Safe Motherhood in Times of COVID-19”. White Ribbon Alliance is a global consortium of individuals and organizations that voluntarily and independently stand up for the noble cause for saving mothers’ lives during critical phase of her child delivery. The alliance is independent, global and free from any political affiliation. WRA is the biggest citizen led coalition for maternal health with community support.
The initiative focused on the importance of mother and child healthcare during COVID 19 and educated individuals about the importance of quality, equity and dignity in women and girls’ healthcare. The initiative also highlighted Dos & DONTs for Pregnant Women during COVID19. Under this theme, WRAWB also launched “Aami To Maa Ke Bhalo Basi” campaign to pay respect to mothers across the state and drive meaningful and tangible change for women at the country and community levels.
Mr. Sujoy Roy, State Head, White Ribbon Alliance West Bengal, said, “As COVID-19 continues its rapid spread around the world, we are witnessing a growing humanitarian crisis, in addition to a public health crisis. We also realize that there are pregnant women, especially those from the marginalized sections, who are facing unprecedented dilemma in receiving appropriate and quality medical care. The Government of West Bengal, UN agencies and many organizations and groups are working together to ensure that pregnant women continue receiving optimal maternity care services during this crisis. Many of these groups have released guidelines and public health messages that specifically address pregnant women in times of COVID-19. We at White Ribbon Alliance West Bengal thank and honour Police, Healthcare Staffs, Media, Sweepers and every Corona Fighter during this tough time.”
He further said,” We would, therefore, on this NSMD, will rally together under the theme ‘Safe Motherhood in times of Covid-19”. Through this campaign, we aim to disseminate evidence-based information that has been developed by reputed organizations such as Government of India, Govt. of West Bengal, WHO, UNFPA and many other agencies and which focuses on keeping pregnant women safe and healthy during this pandemic. We will use our social media platforms to disseminate evidence-based information for keeping pregnant women safe and healthy during this pandemic. We would continue advocating for the fact that despite these challenging times, ever woman needs safe, respectful and compassionate care during pregnancy and birth. We hope that the turbulence and crisis caused by COVID-19 resolves soon as people in every country and continent simultaneously work to slow the pandemic. More than ever, as maternal health advocates, our collective efforts are needed to help pregnant women in India to remain safe and to ensure that they receive the care they need with respect and dignity.”
Below are some messages that are being highlighted and disseminated via social media:
Pregnant women should protect themselves against COVID-19 by: Washing their hands frequently using soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer, Avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth, Put space between themselves and others, Cough or sneeze into their elbow or a tissue, If they have fever, cough or difficulty breathing, seek care early. Call before hand and follow medical advice.
All women have the right to a positive childbirth experience whether or not they have a confirmed COVID-19 infection. This includes: Being treated with respect and dignity; Having a companion of choice present during delivery; Clear communication by maternity staff; Appropriate pain relief strategies: Mobility in labour where possible, and birth position of choice.
Women with COVID-19 can breastfeed if they wish to do so. However, they should: Practice respiratory hygiene and wear a mask, Wash hands before and after touching the baby, Routinely clean and disinfect surfaces.
During Antenatal Care –
If you are in your early pregnancy, you may defer your ante natal care visit and follow all instructions of your doctor/nurse, including taking all your medicines.
For minor complaints in the first 6 months of pregnancy, you may consult your doctor on phone. However, for emergencies or if you have a high risk pregnancy, do not wait at home because delay in care can be life threatening.
When you go for antenatal checkup, go to a nearer PHC/CHC or a private hospital. If you have fever, cough or difficulty in breathing, nasal congestion, aches and pains, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea, you must seek medical care early. When you visit a hospital maintain at least 1 metre distance from others.
Plan for Institutional Delivery:
It can be risky for mother and baby to deliver at home, hence you should plan to deliver at a health facility.
If you have any health complications during your pregnancy, you must deliver at a hospital that can provide caesarean section if necessary.
If you have concerns about going to a larger hospital because of COVID, and have not pregnancy complications, you may go to a health facility nearer your house (eg CHC, PHC or a private hospital). However, you must ensure that a trained nurse or doctor is available for your care.
Breastfeed your baby regularly
Take all medications for postpartum period regularly and follow all instructions given by your doctor or nurse.