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HACEY / Advocacy  / How Antenatal Care Lower Rates Of Maternal Mortality

How Antenatal Care Lower Rates Of Maternal Mortality

Nigeria accounts for roughly 20% of all maternal mortality cases worldwide. According to recent World Health Organization (WHO) statistics, Nigeria’s Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) is 814. (per 100,000 live births). A Nigerian woman’s risk of dying during pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum, or post-abortion is one in 22, compared to a lifetime risk of one in 4900 in developed countries (WHO,2020). In Nigeria, several causes of maternal mortality have been identified, including socioeconomic factors (education, community resources, and autonomy), health complications (unsafe delivery, hypertension), and access to health care (poor transportation). Other factors may include malaria or chronic conditions like cardiac diseases or diabetes. 

Evidence has proven the effectiveness of antenatal care in reducing maternal mortality. Antenatal care is a type of preventive healthcare for pregnant women. It is commonly known as pregnancy or maternity care. It is provided in the form of medical checkups, consisting of recommendations on managing a healthy lifestyle during pregnancy. It is a means to identify high-risk pregnancies and educate women so that they might experience a healthier delivery and outcome. Antenatal care has reduced the frequency of maternal death, miscarriages, birth defects, low birth weight, neonatal infections, and other preventable health problems.

Antenatal care is very important during pregnancy as it is easy to detect complications and address them on time to avoid death (death of a child, mother, or even mother and child).  The major goals of antenatal care include to; promote and maintain the physical, mental, and social health of mother and baby by providing education on nutrition, personal hygiene, and the birthing process; detecting and managing complications during pregnancy, whether medical, surgical, or obstetrical; develop birth preparedness and complication readiness plan and help prepare the mother to breastfeed, successfully experience normal puerperium, and take good care of the child physically, psychologically, and socially.

Antenatal care is advocated as the cornerstone for reducing children’s deaths and improving maternal health, therefore every pregnant and expecting mother is expected to take the antenatal care program seriously in other to prevent maternal mortality. All women need access to high-quality care during pregnancy and after childbirth. If pregnant women can become responsible for their health and the health of their unborn child by visiting a health facility for proper maternal education and care, then we are halfway to solving the problem of maternal mortality in Nigeria. It is also important that all births are attended by skilled health professionals, as timely management and treatment can make the difference between life and death for the mother as well as for the baby. 

Maternal mortality is a global phenomenon, though some countries are more affected than others.

To learn about our Maternal Health Project visit

Written By:

Mercy Kalu

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