Recently (Jan 23), we marked the third annual awareness day of maternal health. This is a public movement that aims to raise and promote better health care among new or existing moms. Better health care is a concept that can only be achieved by the existence of complete cooperation and generous sharing of knowledge between patients and health care providers. Further, in association with the maternal health awareness day, a champion of the Jersey City Medical Center (NJ) has raised to seriously advocate on behalf of the victims of these awful cases of unnecessary deaths of young women before and after pregnancy.

 

It is called #123ForMoms, and their champion quote is only further underscoring the importance of such an awareness movement to occur. “Every 2 minutes a woman dies during pregnancy & childbirth”- strong champion words to support women and their families in the process of birth.

 New Jersey was the first state to embrace this awareness day and to take action. Indeed, the numbers of maternal deaths in the State of New Jersey are ranked high (47 out of 50 states), numbers which demonstrate the need for preventative medical care and public movements to assure that such care is made available. Unfortunately, the United States is the only developed country whose maternity deaths have increased over the last decade.

Thus, this topic is well worth our attention and merits a proper conversation. This article would like to present 3 relevant issues that are addressed in the last #123ForMoms champion.

 

1) Accessibility to Health Care 

 Basic and straightforward as it is, this is our first and most important human right. We are all eligible to receive the best health care treatments available to us. Building a relationship with the health care system costs money if you are living in America. However, there is no other alternative. We all must have some medical insurance that continuously tracks our lifestyle and health.

 Financial solutions are already available for those who wish to take control of their health but lack the cash. We should look at our medical insurance bills as investment money we are paying now to increase the number of years that we can work, live and enjoy a healthier life, for which there is no measurable price. Considering the latter, in general, as we grow in our workplace or profession, our salary tends to increase as well due to experience, benefits, and other variables.

Thus, our investment money paid on health care over the years would flourish in later stages of life, as we would be able to maintain position and experience in our work and gain a level of expertise that would most likely be well remunerated. Yet, this can only be achieved if we sustain good health habits and follow healthy protocols, such as using the system to prevent and cover our health concerns as much as we can.

 

 2) Prenatal and Postpartum Care

 Part of the relationship that we build with our physician is highly relevant during pregnancy. For example, a proper and detailed medical history record on a pregnant patient would likely assist the physician in providing the appropriate care for that specific patient. In contrast, patients who arrive at the labor and delivery floor with no medical history recorded make it almost impossible for the physicians to be able to provide the right treatment.

Many tests and exams are required before any medical advice or care can be properly determined, and in emergency situations, this time is crucial. Thus, it makes a tremendous difference for both practitioners and patients when the medical care for the expectant mother is started early enough with the right therapeutic interventions being well documented. Also, monthly examinations, constant monitoring, taking prenatal vitamins, and post-birth tests are all strategies that were developed for us to increase the likelihood of a healthy birth for both the mom and child.

 

3) Education

 A large number of women arrive at the OBGYN departments regarding one health concern and end up with a pregnancy diagnosis. Such statistics may represent the gap that has evolved between the health care system and the everyday life of people. In a country like the United States that operates a profoundly advanced health system with highly technological medical machines and extremely professional personnel, there must be a way to deliver such services to all the people living here.

Such can be achieved using preventive medicine approaches to health, suggesting that from an early age, we must implant healthy habitual practices along with the appropriate knowledge and education to provide people with a better set of tools resulting in greater control over their lives. In this way, the health system can not only adequately predict health-related concerns, but it may also prevent other medical issues.

Part of personal growth and maturity as a society involves adapting to preventive strategies based on new information and previous knowledge. However, until obtained, both the health care system and the people, whose well-being and lives depend upon it, should focus on finding out how to bridge the gap. In my opinion, the answer is education.