Jubail Specialist Hospital organises “Bump, Birth and Beyond” to improve women’s health
Dr. Karen Amaniampong, an Obstetrician and Gynaecologist with Jubail Specialist Hospital at Sakumono-Accra, has highlighted the need for women to pay attention to their health, not just when they are pregnant but even beyond pregnancy.
The Specialist stressed that it was imperative to have conversations about Women’s Health and Wellness to break the barrier surrounding the approach to the provision of Health to women as well as the way in which Women are made to feel when they seek help.
During the “Bump, Birth and Beyond” health event held last week, participants were taken through important tips to note at every stage of their life in order to avoid health complications, where the Doctor said women’s health journey starts from the time even before she is born to even beyond Menopause.
Dr. Amaniampong, in her presentation, underscored some critical conditions associated with childbirth and some possible solutions to the problem, and these include preconception tips, minor disorders in pregnancy, and danger signs during pregnancy.
According to the Specialist, every pregnant mother must not compromise with some preconception guidelines including taking of Prenatal vitamins like folic acid supplements, important for preventing brain and spinal abnormalities in your baby.
The Obstetrician and Gynae recommended that it was good for pregnant mothers to take folate at least one month before pregnancy.
On her part, starting a prenatal now would help the pregnant mother to correct and avoid any nutritional deficiencies during early pregnancy.
Addressing the participants, she advised them to eschew harmful lifestyles including smoking and alcohol consumption which are very dangerous to a woman’s health, because drinking just a little alcohol consumption can delay conception.
The Obs and Gynae Specialist said there was no safe limit for smoking and if one is trying to have a baby, it was important to quit smoking at least three months before you start trying for a baby.
According to the Specialist, Smokers are more likely to have a miscarriage, a low birth weight baby, or a premature baby with birth defects, and being with a partner or in a household where someone smokes could be detrimental to a pregnancy.
Highlighting on another preconception tips, the Obstetrician and Gynae advised to maintain a healthy weight to reduce the risk for pregnancy complications, adding that both women and men should reach and maintain a healthy body weight before the pregnancy.
She revealed that weight extremes are determinants in childbirth, where both overweight and underweight pose problems.
“Maternal overweight, increases the risk for diabetes as well as hypertension in pregnancy, while underweight is associated with preterm birth and intrauterine growth restriction”, she said.
Minor Disorders in Pregnancy
Stressing on some minor disorders in pregnancy, Dr. Amaniampong said during pregnancy, a woman’s body changes in many ways, and these changes could sometimes be uncomfortable, but most of the time normal and could occur at any time during the pregnancy.
Touching on some of the common minor disorders of pregnancy, and ways to overcome them, the Specialist mentioned nausea, vomiting, and hyperemesis gravidarum as some of the conditions.
“Many women have nausea and vomiting in the first trimester, which is the three months of pregnancy and is often called morning sickness but nausea can be there for some time and that comes with excessive salivation”, the Specialist indicated.
In managing nausea, the Medical Expert recommended that before bed or during the night, a pregnant mother should eat food that contains protein, such as beans and nuts.
She added that mild nausea could be managed by eating a few bananas, dry bread, or other dry grain food upon waking up in the morning, eating many small meals instead of two or three larger ones, and taking small sips of liquid often.
The Doctor prescribed that nausea could be managed by drinking a cup of mint, cinnamon or ginger tea two or three times a day, before meals.
“Put a teaspoon of mint leaves, or a stick of cinnamon, in a cup of boiling water and let the tea sit for a few minutes before drinking it, and to make ginger tea, boil crushed or sliced ginger root in water for at least 15 minutes”, she prescribed.
Addressing on another disorder known as Hyperemesis gravidarum is a serious disorder, for which the woman needs to be admitted to the hospital for medical attention, is a disorder that comes with excessive vomiting, weight loss, and dehydration.
Headaches and migraines During Pregnancy
The Obstetrician and Gynaecologist said headaches are common in pregnancy but are usually harmless and this condition may stop if the woman rests and relaxes more, drinks more juice or water, or gently massages her temples.
Dr. Amaniampong said headaches that occur late in pregnancy may be a warning sign of pre-eclampsia, especially if there is also high blood pressure or swelling of the face or hands.
She explained that Pre-eclampsia is a disease of pregnancy that is marked by high blood pressure and protein in the urine after the 20th week of pregnancy.
In managing the aforementioned conditions, the Specialist recommended drinking enough of water while getting enough rest as a conducive practice for the period.
Skin Changes in Pregnancy
The Medical Expert observed that skin changes like dark spots or patches on the skin called melasma, acne, pimples, and stretch marks are sometimes due to changes in hormone levels that happen during pregnancy.
According to her, these dark spots and melasma skin changes usually fade on their own after you give birth, and she admonished that if you are unsure about any of the things mentioned above, seek medical attention.
Danger signs in pregnancy
Dr. Amaniampong observed that most expectant mothers experience an uneventful pregnancy, adding that, there are certain dangers associated with pregnancy which could result in health complications for both the expectant mother and the baby.
She outlined that, vaginal bleeding, fever, constant nausea and vomiting that may be encountered during any stage of the conception must be reported to a specialist immediately.
Other signs she noted include leaking fluid (liquor) from the vagina, little or foetal movement, contractions, vaginal discharge, and itching are very alarming and when experienced, should be treated immediately by seeking medical attention.
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The Specialist said persistent severe headaches and blurred vision encountered by a pregnant mother should quickly seek for medical help, because these symptoms could be a sign of pre-eclampsia, and if untreated it can lead to seizures and even stroke.
The free “Bump, Birth and Beyond” seminar organised by Jubail Specialist Hospital was in collaboration with Resource Person from Denk Pharma who also corroborated on some healthy nutritional practices and lifestyles for expectant mothers.
Madam Daniella Mamphey, a Pharmacist and Medical representative with Denk Nutrition gave insights to the participants to eat healthily and use quality supplements as directed by their physicians.
She stressed that she was looking forward to the next event which would be held in December and was optimistic that more Health partners would come aboard as it was a great platform for them to showcase their offerings.
Jubail Specialist Hospital Commitment
Dr. Amaniampong reiterated Jubail Specialist Hospital will continually assist couples to break the infertility barrier and also reduce the number of maternal mortalities by providing a world-class service to patients.
Jubail Specialist Hospital’s efforts are unrelenting in complementing stakeholders’ and couples’ efforts to undo with maternal health issues and increasing fertility rates.
By Alfred Nii Arday Ankrah
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