Maternal health refers to the health of the woman during pregnancy or pre-natal, childbirth and in the post-partum period.

Pre-natal care

  • Pre-natal care is the health care and support a woman receives while she is pregnant. In order to ensure pre-natal health, it is necessary to receive early prenatal care. Pre-natal care is extremely essential to keep you and your child healthy. Doctors can spot health problems and risks to the mother or the child very early on, making pre-natal health care extremely essential.
  • If you think you are pregnant, schedule a visit with your doctor at the earliest. Also ensure that visits to the doctor are regular, at least once a month throughout your pregnancy to prevent any problems or complications.
  • Pre-natal care involves an in-depth analysis by your doctor about your past diseases, operations, family history, genetic history, due date calculation etc.


High-Risk Pregnancy

  • A high risk pregnancy is one which involves special monitoring or care of the mother and the child, throughout the pregnancy and childbirth.
  • Advanced age of the mother, lifestyle choices like smoking and alcohol consumption, chronic conditions like diabetes or epilepsy and multiple pregnancies can also pose mothers at risk of developing a high risk pregnancy.
  • Even before one is aware of their potential high risk pregnancies, there are multiple ways to prevent an incidence of the same. Schedule an appointment with your doctor when you’re thinking about having a child in order to have some professional guidance.
  • To prevent a high risk pregnancy, it is important to seek regular prenatal care, eat a healthy diet, monitor your weight and avoid risky substances like alcohol, drugs and smoking.


Inability to conceive

  • Sometimes, a woman might not be able to conceive a child despite efforts, or might keep miscarrying. This point to infertility, which is can either be due to a woman’s bodily conditions or a man’s.
  • Inability to conceive should be followed by visits to your doctor to identify the causes for infertility and possibly treatment, through drugs or treatment.
  • A failure to naturally conceive still does not mean that a couple cannot have children. In-vitro fertilization, adoption, foster care and surrogacy are options available to couples, and can be advised as appropriate by doctors.



  • Miscarriage is the spontaneous loss of pregnancy before the 20th week. Most miscarriages happen due to an improper development of the fetus.
  • Signs and symptoms include vaginal spotting or bleeding, pain or cramping in abdomen or lower back and fluid or tissue passing
  • If you experience any of the following symptoms makes it important to visit a doctor immediately.
  • The doctor may conduct pelvic exams, ultrasound, blood test and tissue test to examine whether the fetus can be saved or whether a miscarriage is inevitable.


Child Birth

  • Labour and delivery generally follows a set pattern- which is the softening and opening of the cervix, the amniotic sac rupturing; the contractions getting stronger and closer together.
  • However, circumstances and complications during the process of childbirth might lead to a realignment of choices, wherein you may need pain medication, or an unexpected C-section.


Post-partum care

  • Post-partum care involves maintaining health and nutrition of oneself as well as the child.
  • Immediately after having a baby, it is extremely essential for the new mothers to receive adequate rest, both physically and emotionally.
  • It involves coping with the bodily changes like managing vaginal tears or a C-section wound, sore breasts, leaking milk, urination problems, constipation, swelling of legs and feet, and hair loss.
  • Post-partum care also involves securing and maintains one’s mental health.
  • Postpartum care hence involves your mental well-being and managing mood swings, irritability, sadness and anxiety.
    • Post-partum depression is when a new mother has a major depressive episode within a month after delivery. It can make a woman feel anxious, restless, fatigued and worthless.
    • If you observe your loved ones in a similar situation immediately after giving birth, it is necessary to communicate with them about their feelings and to seek required help from your physician or a psychiatrist.


Post-natal care for children

Basic care for new-born babies includes breast-feeding to transfer nutrients, keeping the baby warm, hygienic skin care, and identifying problems requiring immediate health and counseling about general health tips for the babies.


Immunization of children

  • The process of giving vaccines to the child for protection against serious diseases refers to as vaccination. The subsequent protective response of the body and development of immunity is referred to as immunization.
  • In ‘Vaccine Preventable Diseases’, if a vaccine is given to a child at the appropriate time and with the appropriate dosage, diseases can be prevented even if that child is exposed to them.
  • At an individual level, immunization is essential because it protects people from acquiring diseases. Moreover, at the community’s level, immunization prevents the spread of diseases, and their eventual eradication.
  • Vaccination in India protects an individual against 7 life threatening diseases- Tuberculosis, Hepatitis B, Tetanus, Measles, Pertussis, Poliomyelitis and Diphtheria.
  • Vaccines aren’t a 100% effective, but are extremely important in protecting individuals against preventable diseases.
  • Children might have side-effects to certain vaccines. In such a case, contact your physician or the hospital/center from where vaccination was received.
  • In certain cases, vaccination might be delayed. Before getting your child vaccinated, inform the doctor/person in charge of any diseases the child may be suffering from.


Immunization schedule

  • A number of vaccines are required in the formative ages of children. These need to be done in accordance with the immunization schedule under the Universal Immunization Programme (UIP).
  • To find out the government laid-out immunization schedule, please visit Mission Indradhanush


How to immunize your child  

  • Immunization for children and infant is available free of cost for ‘Vaccine Preventable Diseases’ under the UIP National Immunization Scheme at government hospitals or Anganwani centres.
  • Vaccinations are also provided by private hospitals and doctors.

For more information on immunization, please visit Mission Indradhanush