Childbirth- 3 important ways to avoid problems


Recently, I read this heart wrenching article on punch newspaper about a man who lost wife and new born during childbirth to an avoidable cause called Postpartum haemorrhage (excessive bleeding after delivery).  So I thought to myself, that if you live in a developing country, e.g. Nigeria, and you’re not using a 5-star hotel hospital for your ante-natal care, then you need to know about and carry along one or all of these 3 medicines in your delivery kit or maternity bag.

A. Misoprostol

This medicine is used to prevent and also treat excessive bleeding
immediately after delivery. For prevention, taking just four (200mcg) tablets
of this wonder drug, can be the big difference between a husband screaming
‘nurse oh, see blood, see blood’ and the husband who’s going home with his
brave wife at the end of this one chance procedure called child birth. You will need to get your doctor to write you a prescription for it well before d-day

B. Anti-D injection:

This injection is used for preventing antibody buildup in mothers whose blood group is rhesus negative, that is A-, B-, AB- and O-. It needs refrigeration, so i’ll advice you look for a pharmacy that stocks it well before d-day, just ask for Rhogham injection. Women who have negative blood group and do not get this drug usually have difficulty giving birth to healthy children in the future as antibodies in their body from after the last pregnancy will attack the babies red blood cells and severe anaemia sets in. This is one of the reasons why some families have only one child. Some clinics may not pay attention to your blood group at the time of delivery and overlook it afterwards and delay in getting your Rhogam shot can have long term and disastrous consequences. This injection can cost N10-15k, but it’s an investment you’ll get returns (more babies in the future) on. You might need to get your doctor to write you a prescription for it well before d-day.


C.  Chlorhexidine:

This medicine is sold as a gel and used to keep the baby’s umbilical cord infection free.  Infection through the umbilical cord is a common way our people lose babies. Your baby’s cut tissue is just sitting there ripe for infection and some people, will throw all sorts of herbs, caustic chemicals and even some weird supposedly traditional items on the cord. This gel is pretty cheap, N200 or less but you can not get chlorhexidine, a good alternative is methylated spirit and to avoid bathing the cord-so keep it dry.


In the comments section of this sad story, many Nigerians decided that swearing and cursing at the standard of healthcare and health professionals in some hospitals in this country is the way forward. Because i don’t see how that helps anyone especially other pregnant women soon to deliver, so I have written this article. Being informed on how you can give yourself an advantage is the pro-active way to go. I wish I had met this couple before this happened, but face it, if you don’t share my advice above with as many women and friends, there will be more women like this in the future.

Another issue I picked in this punch story is the last minute approach to visiting hospitals; the “My water broke” approach. Sometimes I blame hollywood or nollywood ‘cos Omotola Jolade can be looking sexy and disheveled when she says ‘my water broke’ at Sheraton’s restaurant and this has now convinced everyone that this is the sign that tells you when to go to the hospital. As not every woman will even experience this sign in every pregnancy, two earlier delivery signs to look out for are:

1. Frequent contractions: Granted, you may have been experiencing random contractions for weeks, but this version is shorter timed and may be more intense.

2. Checking your discharges: As you count down to your due date, try to check your v-fluids whenever you pee. You’ll notice the volume and thickness will progressively increase to the point , you’ll think you’re running a pomade factory down there. Most important look out for your mucus plug, which can look like catarrh stained brown or bloody.
With the aid of these two signs, (you can ignore the scary auntie or health worker who says you’re over worried). My advice, go and set up camp at your hospital waiting room until your baby comes; listen to music or read a book while you wait.


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