What is Maternal Health?
What people think when they hear maternal health:
-Maternal healthcare- OBs, doulas, midwives, etc
-Maternal mortality- when a mother dies within the first month or during childbirth
-Maternal morbidity- when a mother has issues or injuries associated with birth
When in fact this can be considered the minority of what all maternal health covers. These topics are all important and should be concerns but optimizing a mothers health can greatly impact her ability during and after having children. That is our focus at WMC Public Health.
We use maternal health as an umbrella term to cover all the personal and physical factors, social and cultural issues, health conditions, policies, practices and collective circumstances in a woman’s life and body that enable her to emerge from her pregnancy and birth thriving (Every Mother Counts).
For us at WMCPH, we examine all the factors associated with a woman's health before, during, and after a baby and on into her journey of motherhood. From mental health factors, nutrition, environmental health, physical fitness, workplace/ career health, financial wellness, spiritual wellness, and any other concern a mother may have.
This woman existed before she became a mother and so did her health and well-being. When this woman and now mother is healthy and thriving she is then better able to tackle the challenges that life and motherhood throw at her. The healthier our mothers are in our communities, workplaces, and families the better we are all able to thrive. A healthier mother equals healthier odds at a healthier child, more productive and present employee, and a woman ready to tackle all the challenges.
Sounds great doesn’t it? Let’s examine what else can impact maternal health!
Things that impact maternal health:
-where she lives
-health care access
-women represented in the government
-access to healthy food
-access to family planning
-other and more factors as well
The less access a woman has to resources the greater both her and her baby’s risk factors are to potential health risks and hazards such as mortality and morbidity. Our focus here at WMCPH is to provide women and employers the tools they need to support their women and help decrease the risk factors, improve health outcomes, and provide resources that will positively impact the lives of these women from before birth to after.
Find out how we do this in next week’s article ;)