Women Political Leaders Global Forum has published an assessment on improving maternal healthcare for vulnerable women in the EU. Their recommendations are:
Design and implement mandatory training of health professionals in delivering culturally-sensitive care.
Design and implement a basic maternal healthcare benefits package for vulnerable pregnant women that covers 1) Information/ advice on family planning, 2) Access to contraception and 3) Antenatal, delivery, neonatal and postnatal care.
Ensure and make clear that using maternal healthcare services does not pose the threat of having to leave the country due to one’s immigration status.
Develop specific indicators to measure maternal health and pregnancy outcomes for vulnerable pregnant women.
To read the full assessment on improving maternal healthcare
Pregnancy can be a precarious time in a woman’s life. By ensuring high-quality and people-centred health services for mothers-to-be, health systems make a valuable investment, with benefits that go well beyond pregnancy. Pregnancy offers an opportunity for health-care providers to work across sectors to address many aspects of health, leading to a reduction in disease and death and improvements to well-being. The information given to pregnant women is passed from mothers to their children and wider families, from generation to generation, and is a prime example of the life-course approach, as health behaviour at this critical time in life influences health behaviour and affects health later in life.
Prenatal classes in Georgia are turning pregnancy into a life-course opportunity for health.
Tinatin Gagua, head of an antenatal care clinic in Tbilisi, Georgia stated:
“When we started our training in 2011, antenatal care was a brand new concept in Georgia. Doctors were not used to spending time informing pregnant women about their pregnancies and their babies’ health. We were trained to give classes to groups of pregnant women. Being in a group made a great difference because it helped women to ask questions and socialize with their peers.”
More information about the WHO’s recommendations on antenatal care on the who.int website.