Pretoria – With sub-Saharan Africa accounting for over two-thirds of maternal deaths worldwide, mothers from Soshanguve are equipping themselves with knowledge to safeguard their bundles of joy.
The young mothers were all ears and eyes when Botshilu Private Hospital hosted its first Pregnancy Education Day on Saturday.
The hospital’s experienced staff took the mothers through topics such as what to expect during pregnancy, hypertension complications, nutrition, the importance and benefits of breast milk, breastfeeding positions and exercising before and after pregnancy.
Maternity unit manager at Botshilu, Salome Phala, said it was important to reach out to young mothers from the community as often they went through their pregnancy unaware of which symptoms warranted a visit to the clinic or hospital.
Phala said they wanted to ensure that mothers had the necessary knowledge of what to expect beforehand, as they found it helped keep them calm and easy to assist during delivery.
“The most important information for me to impart on them is the need for antenatal care. Most just come to the hospital fully dilated and we have to help them, but we need to know if they have been taking care of themselves.
“We need to know their status and blood results so we can assist them and ensure everything goes well.”
Phala said even though they did not want to discourage young mothers from using the internet to find out more about their pregnancy, getting first-hand advice from real professionals was always preferable and safest for mothers and their babies.
The atmosphere was jovial as expectant mothers – some of whom brought their partners along – took part in exercises, raffle draws and applauded the fathers present for their understanding and support.
Expectant mother Thabiso Modiwa, who is nearing her delivery date, said the main thing she was taking away from the event was the need to watch what she ate. “I know I need to be careful and not just eat everything.”