Looking after the mothers

Regular readers of this blog will know that we often talk about Skin to Skin Mothercare (S2SMC) or Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) as the most appropriate way of keeping babies warm, promoting bonding, preventing infection, augmenting growth and supporting breastfeeding. Mothers can also be taught to keep an eye on their baby’s breathing and general health and alert the nurses if any apnoeas (pauses in breathing) or other concerns. But mothers too need looking after.

Washing facilities for resident mothers and mothers-to-be at Bwindi Community Hospital

Mothers need washing facilities for themselves and for their clothes and baby’s wraps. They need to be able to prepare food for themselves and to have access to clean drinking water. They need somewhere to sleep themselves. You can see the cook house in the background of this picture and the dormitory on the left. Some of these resident mothers are in the hospital for many weeks, either antenatally or postnatally if their baby is born early.

Women with high risk pregnancies come in antenatally and this project alone has had some impressive results when it comes to delivering the women before their babies run into trouble and therefore preventing hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy (formerly “birth asphyxia”) in particular.

Having facilities like these available to the mothers of premature babies after delivery encourages them to stay on site and therefore be available to their baby for skin to skin mothercare.

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