Pregnancy School is a critical program aimed at providing educational classes to expectant mothers and fathers. It is an important intervention that promotes healthy pregnancy, childbirth, and infant development. In this report, we will discuss the Pregnancy School program in Ave Dakpa Health Centre with a total population of 8276, women of fetal age 1986 ( 24% of total population), and 5 midwives who manages the maternity unit. The report will also cover Pregnancy School enrolment and its impact on maternal and infant health.
In Ave Dakpa Health Centre, there are 14 communities under its catchment area with the population of 8276. The centre has the following units:
- General OPD
- Reproductive and Child Health(RCH) Unit
- Maternity unit
The Pregnancy School program under the maternity unit has enrolled 33 expectant mothers. This represents 1.6% of the women in their fetal age in the Catchment area. The low enrolment may be attributed to various challenges, including lack of awareness about the program and inadequate resources to undertake the program.
The program provides educational classes on prenatal care, nutrition, childbirth preparation, breastfeeding, parenting skills, and postpartum care. The classes are conducted by 5 midwives who have been trained as facilitators.
On the 4th September, 2023, the pregnancy school featured influential and prominent personalities in the health sector, including the Regional Public Health Nurse, the Queen Mother, the Paramount Chiefs Spokesperson, the District Director of Health Services, and several midwives. These individuals were present to offer support and guidance to expectant mothers, address their concerns and answer any questions they may have regarding pregnancy and childbirth.
Regional Public Health Nurse:
The Regional Public Health Nurse offered professional insight on proper nutrition, personal hygiene, and the importance of the routine medications. She also emphasized the importance of regular prenatal checkups and recommended that all expectant mothers adhere to a well-balanced diet that includes fruits, vegetables, and proteins.
The Queen Mother encouraged the pregnant mothers to take care of themselves and their unborn babies. She reiterated the importance of a stress-free environment and rest, stating they were crucial for the health and wellbeing of the expectant mother and her baby. The Queen Mother also advised that a positive mindset and a relaxed body could help make childbirth easier since pregnancy is not a disease.
Paramount Chiefs Spokesperson:
The Paramount Chiefs Spokesperson spoke on the significance of family support during pregnancy and childbirth. The spokesperson stressed the importance of male involvement, communication between partners and urged family members to offer their assistance to expectant mothers in every way possible.
District Director of Health Services:
The District Director of Health Services discussed the importance of proper medical care throughout the pregnancy process. The Director explained that regular prenatal checkups could help detect complications early and increase the chances of a healthy pregnancy. The Director also noted the importance of giving birth in a hospital with skilled professionals present and urged stakeholders to come on board to champion this noble cause.
Finally, the midwives discussed the process of support system amongst expectant mothers and how to foster unity and share experiences among themselves. They also emphasized the importance of following the advice given by healthcare professionals and taking medication prescribed for them
Impact on Maternal and Infant Health
The Pregnancy School program has had a positive impact on maternal and infant health in the District. Pregnant women who attended the classes have reported increased knowledge of prenatal care, nutrition, and childbirth preparation. They also reported the ability to manage their pregnancy-related symptoms effectively. The program has encouraged women to attend antenatal care visits regularly, leading to early detection and management of any pregnancy-related complications.
Infant health has also improved as a result of the Pregnancy School program. Mothers who attended the classes have reported practicing exclusive breastfeeding, which is critical for infant growth and development. They have also reported improved parenting skills, providing a supportive and nurturing environment for their infants.
In conclusion, Pregnancy School is an important intervention that promotes healthy pregnancy, childbirth, and infant development. Enrolment in the program is low in the District, attributed to lack of awareness, and inadequate resources. The program has had a positive impact on maternal and infant health, improving knowledge, and healthcare-seeking behavior. The District should invest in promoting Pregnancy School awareness and allocate more resources towards improving implementation to enhance its impact on maternal and infant health.
Expectant mothers having their lessons with the Head Midwife
DDHS Recognising Some Graduates of Pregnancy school
Pregnancy School and the Team