|Where Women Have No Doctor - A Health Guide for Women (Hesperian Foundation, 1997, 600 p.)|
|Chapter 10: Staying Healthy|
|Special Needs of Women|
Many women do not seek care during their pregnancy because they do not feel sick. But feeling well does not mean there are no problems. Many of the problems of pregnancy and birth, such as high blood pressure or the baby lying the wrong way, do not have any signs. A woman should try to get regular prenatal (before birth) checkups, so that a midwife or health worker trained in giving care during pregnancy can examine her body and see if her pregnancy is going well. Good prenatal care can prevent problems from becoming dangerous.
Family planning and good care during pregnancy and birth can prevent:
Fallen womb (prolapse). If a woman has been pregnant often, had long labors, or pushed too early during labor, the muscles and ligaments that hold up her womb may have become weak. When this happens the womb can fall part or all of the way into the vagina. This is called a prolapse.
· leaking urine
· in severe cases, the cervix can be seen at the opening of the vagina
· Space children at least 2 years apart.
· During labor, push only when the cervix is fully open and there is a strong need to push. Never let anyone push down on your womb to get the baby out quickly.
Urine leaking from the vagina (VVF). If a babys head presses too long against the wall of the vagina during labor, the vaginal tissue may be damaged. Urine or stool may leak out of the vagina.
· Wait to get pregnant until your body is fully grown.
· Avoid labor that goes on too long.
· Space babies at least 2 years apart so that your muscles can get strong again in between pregnancies.