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Dumaguete City, PhilippinesSaturday, August 6, 2011
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Birth spacing pushed

Dumaguete City Health Officer, Dr. Ma. Sarah Tallah, is encouraging families to observe proper birth spacing to avoid complications in mothers and their babies.

During a recent forum on family planning,  Tallah cited several dangers related to improper birth spacing that would pose threats to the health, nutrition and lives of both the mother and  baby.

Birth intervals that are too close, such as babies delivered within less than three years of each other, are at risk of diseases like diarrhea, malnourishment, increased vulnerability to infection and communicable diseases and even higher incidence of child deaths, Tallah said.

Mothers, meanwhile, who do not practice proper birth spacing, are physically stressed as their functions are overlapping from breastfeeding the newlyborn, taking care of the other young children, attending to house chores, not to mention having to go to work if a mother has a full-time career.

For young mothers who are not properly educated on family planning, the risks they would be facing would include low birth weight for the child, birth defects, premature delivery, or even death during delivery, as the mothers’ reproductive system if not fully developed and ready for bearing a child.

Also, older mothers aged 35 and above face risks of hemorrhage, delayed deliveries, eclampsia or an acute and life-threatening complication of pregnancy, and uterine rupture, which makes mothers candidates for a caesarian section.

For the babies of older mothers, the risks would include birth defects such as heart problems, a cleft lip or palate, and Down Syndrome. There is also a higher incidence of still born babies from older mothers, Tallah said.

With mothers having four or more deliveries, they are more likely to experience problems during labor, such as miscarriage and death at delivery, the city health officer also said.* JFP


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