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Expectant mothers need rest and an ample, nutritious diet

Improving the health of mothers-to-be is an important aspect of the development of both present and future generations.
If a pregnant woman takes care of her health by eating nutritious food, the benefits will also be passed on to her child.
By contrast, if a pregnant woman is over-worked and malnourished, it will not only impact the health of the mother, but the infant will have a higher risk of mortality, and weaker health.
Director of the Mother and Newborn Hospital in Vientiane, Dr Phath Keungsaneth, said better health for women during pregnancy was one of the government’s top priorities. Today, all medical checkups and baby deliveries are free of charge for expectant women, thanks to the government.

Good health during pregnancy is essential for mothers and their babies.

Providing the public with correct information about healthy habits is a necessary task for health officials, especially the monitoring of the mother’s health throughout pregnancy.
Dr Phath said mothers should follow doctors’ advice. At a minimum, they should go for check-ups four times during pregnancy, during the fourth, sixth, eighth and ninth months.
During the first months of pregnancy, some women may feel dizzy or vomit in the mornings. These symptoms are not dangerous, but if they continue throughout the whole day and become more serious, a doctor should be consulted immediately.
“Taking a rest, eating nutritious foods such as vegetables, fruit, mineral salts, coconut milk, lime or orange juice, can help solve the problem,” Dr Phath said.
Pregnant women should immediately see a doctor if they develop a serious headache, sickness, or if the foetus is not moving normally, or there is any unusual swelling.
Pregnant women should avoid heavy lifting. They should also bathe thoroughly every day to prevent bacteria from developing in the reproductive tract. 
It is also important for husbands to play a supportive role when their wives are pregnant. They should help with the washing of clothes and other housework. Dr Phath said he had encountered many cases of miscarriage after pregnant women had been over-active.
Because of this, a husband should understand the basics of taking care of his wife during pregnancy. If he is well informed, he could even save the life of his wife and new baby in an emergency.
According to the national reproductive health policy, some Lao women do not receive appropriate care during pregnancy and delivery. Some do not receive ante-natal care, and some of them deliver their babies at home with untrained relatives or friends, or in some cases with traditional birth attendants.
Specific causes of maternal death, such as uterine atony, ruptures in the uterus, shock due to haemorrhaging, puerperal sepsis and other conditions, can be prevented with successful and safe management by a skilled birth attendant.
Dr Phath hopes the government’s policy of free medical checkups for women and children under the age of five and a 30,000 kip charge for all medical checkups and treatment under the Health Insurance Fund will encourage more women to have checkups during pregnancy.



By Times Reporters
(Latest Update October 7, 2017)

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