Elements and 4 Pillars of Safe Motherhood

Key Elements and 4 Pillars of Safe Motherhood

Definition of Safe Motherhood:

Safe motherhood encompasses a series of initiatives, practices, protocols and service delivery guidelines designed to ensure that women receive high-quality gynecological, family planning, prenatal, delivery and postpartum care, in order to achieve optimal health for the mother, fetus and infant during pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum.

Pillars of safe motherhood
Fig: Pillars of safe motherhood

Safe Motherhood Initiative (SMI):  

The Safe Motherhood Initiative (SMI) is a call to the countries of the Region to redouble their efforts to meet the targets of Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 5: Reduce by three quarters, between 1990 and 2015, the maternal mortality ratio, and achieve, by 2015, universal access to reproductive health. The Initiative also supports synergistic action to achieve MDG 3 (Promote gender equality), MDG 4 (Reduce child mortality), and targets of MDG 6 (Halt and begin to reverse the spread of HIV).

In 2007, the Safe Motherhood Initiative is celebrating its 20th anniversary. Many countries have been able to improve the health and well-being of mothers and newborns over the last 20 years. However, countries with the highest burdens of mortality and illness have made the least progress, and inequalities between countries are increasing. In many places, inequalities within countries are increasing too, between those who live in better conditions and have access to care, and those wh0 for a variety of reasons are excluded.

Elements of Safe Motherhood:

All the components of safe motherhood are-

  • Antenatal care and education,
  • Intra-natal care,
  • Post natal care of mother,
  • Prevention of abortion,
  • Management of complications of unsafe abortion,
  • Competent referrals.

Four Pillars of Safe Motherhood:

The 4 pillars of safe motherhood according to WHO are as follows –

  1. Family planning,
  2. Antenatal care,
  3. Safe delivery,
  4. EOC services.

All the above 4 pillars of safe motherhood according to WHO have explained in the below:

1. Family Planning:

This pillar ensures that individuals and couples have the access to information and services spacing to plan the number, and timing of pregnancies.

2. Antenatal care:

This is very important pillar for safe motherhood d. It helps to facilitate an uneventful and safe pregnancy period by preventing complications where possible as well as detecting complications related to pregnancy early and treated accordingly.

3. Safe delivery:

The proper education of safe delivery will ensure that all birth attendant and midwives have adequate knowledge’ appropriate skills and necessary equipment to conduct a safe and clean delivery. It also ensures proper post-partum care for both mother and baby.

4. Essential obstetric care (EOC):

The objective of EOC is to serve the services to the pregnant women at the time of her emergency need. This may be during pregnancy, delivery or in post-partum period.

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