National Safe Motherhood Day – April 11
Every year on 11th April National Safe Motherhood Day (NMSD) is observed to raise awareness about providing proper healthcare for pregnant and lactating women. The day aims to work towards providing better medical facilities to pregnant or new mothers to reduce the maternal mortality rate.
Mother is an ocean of love and emotions and it is everyone’s responsibility to take utmost care of such beautiful beings who are the givers of life. Motherhood is a beautiful experience and it should be special and safe for all expecting mothers during their pregnancy and even after that. It is believed that a pregnant woman should be happy, eat nutritious food, and lead a stress-free life to deliver a healthy baby.
This is an initiative of the White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood, India in the year 2003 when 11th April was declared National Safe Motherhood Day. WRA India was launched in 1999 when the Center for Catalyzing Change (formerly known as CEDPA), brought together a group of individuals and organizations to advocate for safe motherhood in India. Their vision is an India where all women and girls realize their right to quality health and well-being.
WRAI ensures that every woman has access to healthcare during pregnancy, childbirth, and postnatal service. The Government of India in collaboration with The White Ribbon Alliance (WRAI) for Safe Motherhood (of which UNICEF is an active member), organized a national stakeholder meeting, in the capital Delhi, to discuss the pressing priorities concerning women‟s health.
11th April is the birth anniversary of Kasturba Gandhi, which is celebrated as National Safe Motherhood Day which has helped millions of women to have a safe and healthy pregnancy. It is a day that is purely dedicated to the health of women who are going to or have given birth to their young ones.
Dr. Marzio Babille, Chief of Health for UNICEF India, who took part in the national stakeholders meeting, said the country‟s focus should be on a life-cycle approach to women‟s health. He said UNICEF believes in addressing women during their adolescence when reproductive and other lifestyle behaviors set the stage for later life.
India is among the most high-risk countries to give birth. More than 35,000 women in India every year lose their life due to the non-availability of proper care during pregnancy. The government of India has started Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY) for pregnant women and lactating mothers. PMMVY is a centrally Sponsored DBT scheme with cash incentives directly in the account of the pregnant women or lactating mothers for the first living child of the family.
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Safe motherhood means ensuring that all women have access to the information and services they need to go safely through pregnancy and childbirth.
It includes :
- Education on safe motherhood
- Prenatal care
- Promotion of maternal nutrition
- Adequate delivery assistance in all cases
- Provisions for obstetric emergencies including referral services for pregnancy, childbirth, and abortion complications
- Postnatal care.
In these days and times, pregnant women are under tremendous stress owing to various reasons like unhealthy lifestyles, nuclear families, etc. Here are a few important points to follow for a happy, healthy pregnancy.
- Good Nutrition – Eat a well-balanced diet. Include dairy products, whole grains, protein-rich food, fresh vegetables, and fruits for the proper development of the baby.
- Stay Active – Stay active during pregnancy by going on walks, doing yoga, and doing moderate exercise to avoid unnecessary weight gain and for easy labor.
- Control Blood Pressure – Monitor your blood pressure regularly during pregnancy to avert gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia.
- Get Vaccinated – Get Vaccinated in time as vaccines protect from infections to you and your growing fetus in your womb.
- Manage Stress – Try to control your stress levels. If health permits go for a small vacation during the period. Listen to good music, and enjoy quality time with your family and friends.
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