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Maternal Child Health - Homescience Form 3

Maternal Child Health Care

As you learnt in Form 1, this is a discipline that deals with child development from conception to childhood with special attention to the physical, emotional and social development of the child.

Safe Parenthood


One needs to be adequately prepared for the role of parenthood since it is an enormous responsibility.


Objective

By the end of the lesson, you should be able to explain the importance of safe parenthood.

Importance of Safe Parenthood

Safe parenthood ensures a:


1. Trouble free full term pregnancy


2. Safe delivery


3. Mother's and baby's health are safe guarded


4. Pregnant mother is free from stress related complications

Preparation for Safe Parenthood

In this lesson we shall look at the various factors that need to be considered in preparation for safe parenthood. These include:

  • Proper Nutrition
  • Proper Social and Psychological Preparation
  • Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT)
  • Age of parent

Objective

By the end of the lesson you should be able to discuss the needs of a pregnant mother.

Proper Nutrition

Proper nutrition is important for both the mother and foetus. Lack of enough nutrients in the diet may lead to improper development of the foetus and endanger the life of the mother.

Proper Social and Psychological Preparation

Emotional and social support from the family members and society are important for a healthy pregnancy. The mother must be prepared emotionally in order to adjust to the changes that will take place in her body.

Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT)

It is important for the parents-to-be, to know their HIV status by visiting a VCT clinic. If they test positive to the virus:


1. They will be counselled


2. The mother is given medical care to prevent mother-to-child transmission. If negative, they are counselled and advised on how to mantain their negative status.

Age of parent

The recommended age for parenthood is between 18-35 years.


*A girl below 18 years is not physically mature to carry the pregnancy and safely deliver the baby.


*A girl or boy below 18 years is not psychologically, socially and financially prepared for the responsibility of parenthood. On the other hand, an average mother-to-be may experience the following:


  • Difficult in conception.
  • Birth of deformed babies.
  • Child has a high chance of getting genetic diseases.
  • Mother may experience difficulty during labour.

Pregnancy

Pregnancy is the period between conception and the delivery of a baby. During this period mothers may suffer from some complications, these include:


Click on each to view

Objective

By the end of the lesson you should be able to explain common problems in pregnancy.

Oedema

This is the swelling of the face and limbs due to retention of body fluids.

Varicose veins

These are veins that have become stretched, damaged and bulge on the surface of the skin.

Piles/haemorrhoids

These are enlarged blood vessels that protrude at the anal region.

Stretch marks

These are stripe-like appearance on the skin, especially on the legs, buttocks, thighs and abdomen.

Backaches

The expectant mother may experience pain at the lower back as a result of pressure exerted by the growing foetus on the spine.

Anaemia

This occurs when there is lack of enough iron in the body due to iron deficiency in the diet.

Antenatal Care

Antenatal care is the care given to an expectant mother from the time of conception to the time she delivers. Antenatal care is also referred to as pre-natal care.

Objectives

By the end of the lesson you shpuld be able to:

i) Explain the impotance of antenatal care

ii) Explain the activities that take place in the antenatal clinic

iii) State the factors that affect normal foetal development.

Importance of Antenatal Care

Antenatal care ensures:


1. The safety of the mother and the foetus.


2. Early detection of any pregnancy related problems so as to be managed in good time.


3. Provides education on health and nutrition to the mother.


4. Reduction of maternal-child mortality.

Activities at the Antenatal clinic


As soon as a mother suspects that she is pregnant, she should report to the antenatal clinic for confirmation. In the antenatal clinic, the following activities will be carried out:


  • Checking family history
  • Checking of the mother's blood pressure
  • Urine analysis
  • Weight of the mother
  • Foetal heartbeat
  • Blood test
  • Scanning

Family History


It is important to find out more about the parents' family history in case of any hereditary disease/ condition.


Mother's Blood Pressure

It is important to monitor the mother's blood pressure especially during the third trimester so as to avoid related complications.



Click on the PLAY button to view video clip

Urine Analysis

Urine analysis is carried out to check:

  • Presence of proteins
  • Presence of sugar
  • Some STIs, such as gonorrhea
  • Confirmation of pregnancy

Weight of Mother

It is important to monitor the weight of the mother so as to prevent serious complications such as high blood pressure and pre-eclampsia, which is a life threatening condition for both mother and baby.


Foetal Heartbeat

The baby's heartbeat is monitored whenever the mother goes to the antenatal clinic.



Click on the PLAY button to view video clip

Blood test

The mother's blood is tested for:

  • Determining the mother's blood group
  • STI's diagnosis, such as syphilis
  • Haemoglobin levels
  • H.I.V

Scanning

Ultrasound scans are done to confirm that the foetus is growing well, that it is the right size for the dates or to check on the dates if the mother is unsure about them. Scanning is also done to check on any possible abnormalities that the unborn baby may have, so as to deal with them as early as possible.



Factors Affecting Normal Foetal Development


The normal foetal development can be affected by:


  • HIV and AIDS
  • Alcohol abuse and smoking
  • Drug misuse and abuse
  • Poor nutrition
  • Trauma/Stress

Click on each factor to view it.

HIV and AIDS

This may cause infection to the baby.

Alcohol Abuse and Smoking


This leads to underweight babies, mental retardation and miscarriages.


Drug misuse and Abuse

This may lead to poor development of the foetus and also miscarriages.

Poor Nutrition


This may lead to poor physical and mental development of the foetus.


A pregnant woman eating chocolates from a box

Trauma/Stress


This may lead to miscarriages.



A stressed pregnant woman in an office

Postnatal Care

Postnatal care is the care given to the mother and baby for up to about five years after a baby is born. Both mother and child are given intense care in the first six weeks after delivery.


Mothers at a postnatal clinic

Objectives

By the end of the lesson, you should be able to:

i) Define post natal care.

ii) Explain the importance of post natal care.

iii) Describe the activities that take place at the post natal clinic.








Importance of Postnatal Care


Postnatal care is given at home and in hospitals. Postnatal care safeguards the general health of the mother and the baby. The following are the activities that take place at the postnatal clinic:


  • The mother's uterus is thoroughly examined to ensure that the uterus and other organs are back to normal.
  • The breasts are examined to ensure that the mother is able to breastfeed properly and advice is given accordingly.
  • The mother is advised on good nutrition, general hygiene and methods of family planning.
  • The mother's health, emotional, psychological and social concerns are addressed at the clinic.
  • Pregnancy related complications, if any, are addressed.
  • The growth of the baby is monitored.
  • The general health of the baby is assessed and treatment given if necessary.
  • The baby is immunized against common childhood diseases.

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