Human Growth and Development

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Diet in Relation to Maternal Mortality
Sarah S
Coun-502 Human growth and development
Dr. Christina Villarreal-Davis
8. May 2012

Abstract
In most of the Eastern cultures women are perceived to be a liability and receive little to no education, proper nutrition, or medical help. This mindset towards women in several cultures becomes a contributing factor for the poor health conditions. In addition to this mindset the low socio-economic status of women, due to poverty and lack of education places them in less-privileged positions which results in compromised health. One major health issue in the developing world is maternal mortality. Ninety five percent of maternal deaths occur in Asia and Africa. In 2005, the estimated number of maternal deaths is an alarming 536,000. Lack of education, poor medical facilities, and inadequate nutrition are some of the factors that contribute to maternal mortality. Though interrelated to several of these causes, nutrition alone is not the major causative factor in maternal mortality. Some of the major causes of maternal deaths are as follows: anemia, preeclampsia, hemorrhage, sepsis, abortion and obstructed labor. Also the lack of proper dietary intake during pregnancy affects both the mother and the growing fetus. This establishes the need for a transformation in the mindset of people in order to prioritize the health of women in general and pregnant women in specific. As such this paper seeks to answer several questions. Is maternal death the fate of the lesser being? Or does the change in the perception towards women help in reducing maternal mortality? What are the alternate viable options to handle this health issue?

Diet in relation to maternal mortality

The status of women in the society and her health are intricately interrelated. The health of a pregnant woman is profoundly influenced by her circumstances, economic, and social status and the environment in which she lives (Priya, Ashok & Suresh, 2010). Health is a human right in and of itself, and the condition of health reflects the enjoyment of many other human rights (Yamin, 2009). Access to proper health is however a rarity for women and maternal mortality is one of the major health issues in the developing world. Socioeconomic conditions play a significant role in the overall health and welfare of the pregnant woman. “Every minute, everyday a woman dies in pregnancy or childbirth.” (Priya.et.al, 2010.p.134). The alarming number of deaths each year is an indicator of the emergent nature of the problem. Several studies have been conducted to show the immensity of the problem and also to look at the viable options to reduce maternal mortality. As cited by (Erica Royston, 1989) the UN Decade for Women (1976-85) did much to open the eyes of the world to the effects of sex discrimination on such things as economic development and the health of families. There is now a pressing need to establish the relationship between the status of women and maternal mortality. Various studies have been conducted to examine the interrelationship between diet and maternal mortality and research has established that although interrelated nutrition is not the major causative factor for maternal mortality. Ninety five percent of the maternal deaths occur in Asia and Africa. In 2005, the estimated number of maternal deaths worldwide was 536,000. Maternal mortality is significantly high in countries with high levels of poverty and cultures where women are less-privileged. Since nutrition is not a major causative factor of maternal mortality, it can be used as a point of change to work towards the transformation of the mindset of the family members of the mother’s well-being. This change of attitude towards the mother’s health could also bring about effectual transformation through hospitalization, proper medical care and post-partum care which play a significant role in the reducing the risk of maternal mortality. The objective...
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