Why Becoming Pregnant Scared One Young Mom-To-Be

Why Becoming Pregnant Scared One Young Mom-To-Be

5/10/18

 

In Cambodia, lack of access to medical care can put the lives of mothers and babies at risk. CARE is working to change that.

Mothers and babies often lack health care.

A few weeks ago, Sina gave birth to her first child, a little girl named Davit. Sina loves her daughter and hopes to have another baby in the future. But when she first learned she was pregnant, she was scared.  

“My friend delivered her baby at home. She died, and the baby was left with its grandparents. I was so scared of delivering my baby at home, I didn’t want to be like my friend,” she says.  

In Cambodia, many women deliver their children at home with no formal medical training.

In Cambodia, where Sina lives, many women deliver their children at home with traditional birth attendants, women in the community with no formal medical training. If women don’t have access to quality medical care, it can increase the risks for mother and baby and lead to tragic consequences.  

As part of a partnership between the Cambodian Ministry of Health, the Australian Government, and three NGOs, CARE has been working with the traditional birth attendants and health volunteers in Sina’s village to provide pregnant women with accurate information about staying healthy. The effort, called Partnering to Save Lives, aims to reduce maternal and newborn mortality in Cambodia.  

Sina and her husband decided to have the baby at a local health center where she received education about mothers, babies, and safe delivery. “The midwife from the health center and CARE staff visited me often during my pregnancy. They advised me to go to the health center for health check-ups and to get iron supplements.” 

CARE works with Partnering to Save Lives to reduce maternal and newborn mortality in Cambodia.

The support helped Sina become excited rather than afraid of delivering her baby. And the medical attention she received during childbirth was critical. 

“My family members thought I would die because after delivering the baby, I bled for three days — many liters of blood. I was so weak and pale. But because I was at the health center, the skillful midwives saved my life.” 

If Sina hadn’t learned the dangers of delivering at home without qualified medical support, her story could have echoed her friend’s. 

“I might not be able to see my baby if I had delivered her at home,” she says. “I plan to go to the health center to deliver my next baby. I trust the midwives and there is a lot of equipment to save mothers and babies when needed.” 

Because of trained midwives, Sina and her baby are healthy.

 CARE advocates for the U.S. government to support access and availability of voluntary family planning, which can significantly reduce maternal and child mortality worldwide, and improve the health of entire families. CARE Action works with members of Congress to support robust funding for international family planning, women's health services, and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). 

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