Wed | May 22, 2019

Expectant moms schooled in baby prep

Published:Saturday | June 10, 2017 | 12:02 AMTamara Bailey
Registered midwife Petal McNally.
Expectant mothers at the Manchester Health Department recently for the educational initiative – PREGMATE.

Mandeville, Manchester:

Giving birth can be one of the most beautiful experiences, however, some mothers forget things that need to be taken into consideration before and after bringing a child into the world.

Having seen several instances where a lack of planning has made the experience a nightmare for some mothers, the medical staff of the Manchester Health Department (MHD) hosted a forum targeting more than 150 expectant mothers recently.

"The initiative is themed Pregnant Mothers Advancing through Education (PREGMATE), and we started this some years ago when we saw the need to educate our clients, as there were various areas of concern as it regards pregnant mothers," said registered midwife at the MHD and coordinator of the initiative, Petal McNally.




The first staging was held in Porus, where approximately 50 expectant mothers turned up, and the second staging was in Christiana, where more than 90 mothers participated.

"The objective of this initiative is to highlight the role of the midwife and factors influencing high-risk pregnancies. Another aim is to ensure that the woman takes charge of her reproductive health and has information on the prevalence of home births in Jamaica," said McNally.

Some of the other topics discussed were nutrition and pregnancy, jaundice in newborns, naming and registration, ultrasound, dental hygiene, and Layette preparation (items needed just before giving birth).

"We have a lot of teenage mothers, and some of them have not a clue what they are getting themselves into, and some of the older ones, too, and so we want to ensure pregnancies are managed well because you can bring a pregnancy up to 40 weeks, go in to labour, and you come out alone," said McNally.




President of the Midwives Association, Aseta Edwards-Hamilton, explained that it is important for parents to understand the difference between truth and myth.

"Some of these mothers tend to listen to the older members of their families instead of the midwives. Some of them believe if you breastfeed, the breasts become floppy," said Edwards-Hamilton.

She said she has seen mothers wearing tape measures around their abdomen in a bid to ward off evil spirits.

Expectant mother Shanoy Kelly expressed that she was grateful for the opportunity to right some wrongs as a second-time mommy.

"The initiative is very informative, and though this isn't my first pregnancy, there are a lot of things I didn't know then, but I know now. I didn't know you could exercise during pregnancy."

She added: "I would like to say thanks to the coordinators because a lot of the mothers aren't educated as it concerns pregnancy. This is an eye-opener, and I hope this spreads right across Jamaica, not just Manchester."