The biggest threats to maternal health in the third world

Maternal health and mortality both go hand in hand. In many industrialized countries, maternal health is well taken care of and a woman carrying a child to term is mostly easy because of the access to quality health care. Many women are educated about childbirth and what to expect. Most of them go to health appointments to make sure everything is all right and even for the poor this can be done easily. You can get insurance from the government that covers your pregnancy and all costs in America and some other countries.

However, in third world countries, these luxuries are not always common. Though there are doctors and charitable organizations that try to come in and help with pregnant women, there are usually not enough of them to go around. And unfortunately some women do not have the ability to attend the doctor due to traveling constraints. The largest threat truly is the lack of proper maternal health care for women. In these countries, the women often die of haemorrhaging. This usually occurs while they are giving birth or after the process because they give birth and are not near adequate health care. Many women in third world countries give birth with no doctors or nurses in their presence. So when the women begin losing a lot of blood due to haemorrhaging, there is no one around to help and there is often nothing anyone can do. It is usually accompanied with friends and family running around for help to no avail.

Another threat to maternal health is the fact that there is no access to abortions. Abortions are very controversial in industrialized countries and possibly even more so in third world countries. 75,000 or more women die each year trying to give themselves abortions. They use straightened coat hangers and other such sharp objects and attempt to abort the fetus. This would cause them to puncture their uterus and have a bleeding wound that causes death. Many of these women die afraid and alone. The women who do survive this act usually have crippling discomfort and things such as pelvic inflammatory disease.

One of the other large threats to maternal health in the third world is sepsis. Sepsis is when the bloodstream is poisoned from an infection of an unhealed uterus or retained pieces of placenta. The symptoms that accompany this are crippling pain and fever and often hallucinations. It is obviously a very painful way to die.

Obviously, these would not be a problem if there were better access to health care. This is truly the answer to all of the problems. In industrialized countries, there are some deaths from these occurrences but clearly nowhere near as many as third world countries because of the lack of maternal health care. If there were more doctors and nurses in third world countries, obviously the mortality rates would go down and the maternal health would be better.

Written by Misty from Maternal Health Issues. This is not an official site. More info about this site and what we're trying to do is right here.