Maternity care has evolved over more than 1000 years. Many of the changes have been driven by political and consumer pressure. Only recently has any good research been conducted into which aspects of care actually make a difference to women and their babies. Women in some countries like the UK are in the enviable position of being able to receive quality maternity care, for free at the point of need. But this is not the case for the majority of the women around the world. despite signing up for ambitious targets for the reduction in maternal mortality, the global community is failing to achieve reductions in mortality making pregnancy and childbirth a life threatening challenge for millions of women.
Maternity care an issue of global challenge
Pre pregnancy planning and screening has formed a part of antenatal care since its inception. Because planning for a pregnancy greatly increases the chance of a positive outcome in the pregnancy. Because there is a major role that the psychology of the mother plays in the outcome of the pregnancy. And planning for a pregnancy allows the mother to be better prepared or the birth of the child and hellos her as well the father to adopt to the changes in their life a bit better. Counselling also plays an important role in the stage of planning a pregnancy. Because there is advice that an expert can give which can be invaluable to the mentality of the parents to be. And it also allows for the doctor to establish a healthy relationship with the parents.Screening plays and important role in identifying any abnormalities in the baby before delivery. And the risk of continuing with the pregnancy.
Nowadays obstetricians in Melbourne offer screening for Down’s syndrome, fetal anomalies, hemoglobinopathies, rubella status and HIV/Hep B status. These are the routinely screened abnormalities. Screening for these allows the parents to know the health status of their baby as early as the 12th week of pregnancy. And if parents have the misfortune of detecting an anomaly in their unborn baby then they are also given the option of choosing not to continue with the pregnancy. Because there are some parent who are not ready to deal with such abnormalities and cannot handle the shock of seeing their baby being born with a defect. This occurs especially with first time parents. And nowadays the mental health of the parents especially the mother is so important to the wellbeing of a child that you need to closely monitor this in the mother as well. And maternity care is so important that many clinical, political and consumer bodies are now involved in how it is provided.