Philippine saying goes: “A woman giving birth has her
one foot in the grave.” This gloomily illustrates the
danger a woman goes through to bring another human into this
offers a litmus test of the status of women, their access
to health care and the adequacy of the health care system
in responding to their needs. As primary caregivers, mothers
are crucial to infant survival and the child’s optimal
development. But in order for them to become effective in
this role, their rights too have to be addressed.
Women may get pregnant,
miscarry, give birth, lactate, and breastfeed. All these take
their toll on women’s health, making them more susceptible
to illnesses in the long run. Women need to slow down, space
births, and eat well.
This indeed has
become a vicious cycle. Malnourished pregnant women give birth
to underweight infants. Mothers who are iodine-deficient suffer
frequent miscarriages, still births, and early infant deaths.
Babies who survive will most likely be born deformed and mentally
Women are crucial
to guarding children’s health and nutrition. Ill health
in women often translates to not being able to properly take
care of the children.