Women with Extra Needs 99
Helping women who have trouble caring
for themselves and their babies
Some women are more likely to have difficult births and
problems following birth, and their babies are more likely to
be unhealthy. Mothers who are alone, very poor, very young,
mentally slow, or who already have poorly nourished or sick
children may have a harder time caring for themselves and
If someone takes special interest in these mothers, and helps
them get the food, care, and companionship they need, it can
often make a great difference in the well-being of both the
mothers and their babies.
If the baby dies
Do not wait for those in need
to come to you. Go to them.
Most women have healthy pregnancies and give birth to
healthy babies. But sometimes, no matter what anyone does,
the baby dies.
This is always a hard time for a mother. She feels great
sadness and loss. At the same time, she has been through a
pregnancy and birth and she needs to rest and get her strength
back, just like a mother with a new baby.
The following advice may also help:
• her breasts will probably be sore, especially around the 3rd
day after the birth when her milk comes in. Cloths soaked
in cool, clean water may reduce the soreness.
• not squeeze out either the first yellow milk (colostrum) or
the regular breast milk. Removing milk will cause the body
to make more.
• watch for signs of breast infection and treat if necessary
(see page 117).
• wait for at least 3 months before trying to get pregnant
again. A woman’s body needs
time to heal.
• start using a family planning
method as soon as possible.
She can become pregnant
again too soon.
For many women, this
is a death like any death of
someone she is close to, and
she will need to mourn her
loss. She needs special care,
kindness, and support.
➤ A woman needs
extra care and
support when her
Where Women Have No Doctor 2012