World Population Day is observed on July 11 every year, to create awareness about key demographic topics pertaining to social issues such as gender bias, poverty, human rights, as well as health-linked concerns of family planning and maternal wellness. The main focus of World Population Day as proposed by the United Nations Development Programme is directed towards uplifting the health, as well as securing the rights, of women and girls, since nations all over the world have faced numerous struggles in dealing with the COVID-19 crisis over the past year and a half.
This impactful public health day was first celebrated in the year 1989, inaugurated by the Governing Council of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). In fact, the specific date that was recommended by Dr. K. C. Zachariah - a renowned Indian sociologist and scholar - July 11, 1987, was the date on which the world’s population first reached a massive number of 5 billion.
In-depth research studies have established that it took more than 200,000 years for the global population to reach 1 billion in the early 1800s. However, merely 200 years later, in October 2011, the total number of people worldwide touched a colossal figure of 7 billion. Owing to this population explosion, medical professionals and political leaders have emphasized the significance of achieving gender equality and optimal reproductive wellbeing, particularly among females, in order to accomplish the goal of sustainable development on planet earth.
Within the female population, although kids, teenagers, young adults, middle-aged and the elderly are all equally prone to contracting coronavirus disease, one specific segment faces a rather delicate and challenging situation – expecting mothers. With COVID-19 being a highly contagious respiratory ailment and scientists yet to determine if the virus can be passed on from the mother to the newborn, pregnant women must take extra care to ensure handwashing and social distancing, to prevent infection.
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Read on, to gain further insight into the remarkable advantages of providing ideal and adequate healthcare facilities to pregnant women.
Proven Health Benefits Of Quality Maternal Care:
Enhances Lactation Processes
Going for regular health checkups to the gynaecologist guarantees proper guidance on diet, exercise, sleep and other lifestyle modifications for expecting mothers. This, in turn, stimulates the proper secretion of breast milk post-delivery, to supply nourishment to the babies.
If stepping out in current times raises the chance of acquiring COVID-19, due to many cases in the neighbourhood or community, then make sure to use telemedicine services.
Promotes Mental Health
Through an extended period of 9 to 10 months of pregnancy, a woman encounters numerous hormonal fluctuations, which negatively influence her mood, memory and concentration. Scheduling appointments with the doctor to address these issues vastly improves the mental functioning of the brain and instils positivity.
As a result of lockdown, access to a mental health professional might not always be easy. Hence, keep in mind to share all emotions and complaints with family and friends.
Identifies Risk Of Disease
During doctor visits, body scans of the developing foetus and monitoring vital parameters of blood sugar levels, blood pressure and heart rate are very crucial. This helps recognize underlying disorders such as diabetes, hypertension or cardiac ailments, for timely treatment of health problems.
People with chronic conditions are at high risk of obtaining COVID-19 infection. Thus, it is vital to remember that early detection of pre-existing health anomalies is key for protecting the mom and baby.
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Augments Physical Fitness
Although pregnancy gives rise to body pain and weight gain, it is essential to exercise regularly and remain active. The enriched wellbeing of the mother fosters normal development of the foetus in the womb, thereby assuring the health of the newborn as well.
Even if is not possible to take a walk in the nearby park or a stroll down the lane due to stay-at-home orders, keep moving within the confines of your own house.
Prevents Dental Disorders
Pregnant women must ensure to take good care of their teeth and gums during the entire phase of gestation that lasts for 9 – 10 months. Consulting with a dentist helps to detect any signs of cavities or infections and treat them promptly, so as to avoid the spread of germs from the mouth to other internal organs as well as the womb, which safeguards the health of both, the mother and child.
Visiting a dentist for a routine cleaning and check-up during any stage of pregnancy is safe. However, doctors advise scheduling any dental treatment procedures for swelling, bleeding, infection immediately, to improve oral health and overall wellbeing of the pregnant woman.
Fosters Optimal Post-Partum Wellness
Maternal care not only comprises the period of pregnancy and giving birth but also the post-natal phase, which begins right after delivery of the newborn, usually considered to be the first six weeks post childbirth. As the woman’s body gradually goes back to a normal state, with a dip in reproductive hormone levels and decreasing uterus size, her vital statistics and overall health need to be monitored daily. The body weight, movement and development of the baby are also closely observed.
Consulting the gynaecologist about any health concerns either for the mother or the child is essential to ensure their wellbeing. Due to the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic and partial lockdowns, if stepping out of the house to go see a doctor is difficult, then seek medical advice through a video call or schedule a house visit.
Improves Personal Hygiene
Thanks to constant reminders from doctors, pregnant women make every effort to cleanse the body and hands thoroughly, to curb the transfer of microbial pathogens such as bacteria, viruses or fungi, to the internal organs. Steps are also taken to disinfect the household, for shielding against various seasonal and infectious sicknesses.
Now more than ever, simple precautionary measures such as frequent handwashing, avoiding crowded places, social distancing and refraining from touching the face, nose, mouth before sanitizing are necessary, to defend the body against COVID-19 and build resistance.