It is a fact that more babies are conceived in rural areas than urban. This is usually due to a lack of family planning as well as a common issue of illiteracy in Pakistan. Along with these high birth rates, there is a relational high maternal mortality rate, especially in these rural areas. One of the leading reasons for maternal deaths in the course of pregnancy and childbirth is the procedure of delivery through unskilled birth attendants.
A pregnant woman can face many complications during pregnancy and at the time of delivery. It is important to keep in mind that when a newborn enters a world it needs to be handled in a hygienic environment in the hands of an individual who has proper knowledge of child labor.
Due to the high maternal mortality rates in these rural areas, programs have been proposed to introduce community midwives. These community midwives are also called skilled birth attendants who are specially trained to perform normal home deliveries under safe and clean conditions. These are specifically aimed for the rural areas, where there is a lack of facility for proper medical care.
This also facilitates those who are unable to afford hospitals and qualified gynecologists.
The community midwives have certain functions that they are legally trained through programs and schools such as:
- To give individualized attention to pregnant women throughout the maternity cycle and the infant, in her own surroundings and to help her in self-care.
- To stay on top of a pregnant woman’s physical, social and emotional well-being as needed.
- With the resources available to the midwife, she should be able to take any appropriate action.
- To provide any kind of advice through counseling about healthy habits and to involve family members in preparation for childbirth and for any possible emergencies that could occur.
- To identify conditions, whether they are real or anticipated, and that require medical attention and making timely referrals.
I believe that this is a great stance, to have such an initiative where proper child birth can take place through safe hands. The roll of qualified and properly-trained midwives will allow to not only keeping the pregnant woman safe and educated about her pregnancy, but will also provide maternal care for the newborn in case the mother cannot look after the baby right away.
On a daily basis, we have unaccountable deaths in our country due to several reasons. Having community midwives will not only help to bring a new life into this world but also keep an existing life alive and healthy. Also, the amount of jobs that can be available for women through this program of community midwives will be also great for Pakistan. This will not only encourage women to choose this as a career, but will be an option for those single mothers, or poorly educated women to sustain a proper path to an income.
The community midwives program will also change the minds of soon-to-be and new mothers who think they may be skilled in handling child birth. When they notice the difference to how a midwife handles the mother and the baby, they will come to an understanding that maybe they have been doing it wrong. This will help in the acceptance of midwives into the society and also promote their growth.
My main reason to believe that community midwives should be endorsed is that it helps to empower women. It gives them a feeling that they are valuable in society as well.
Another important function they perform that should be highlighted is the education and counseling they are providing to the under privileged areas. If this can be one way to save lives and stimulate a healthier Pakistan, then community midwives programs should be encouraged and motivated thoroughly.