Safe motherhood isone of the most important components of Reproductive Health. It means ensuringthat all women receive the care they need, to be safe and healthy throughoutpregnancy to childbirth.Safe motherhood encompasses a series of initiatives,practices, protocols and service delivery guidelines designed to ensure thatwomen receive high-quality gynaecological, family planning, prenatal, deliveryand postpartum care, in order to achieve optimal health for the mother, foetusand infant during pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum. It is the ability of amother to have safe & healthy pregnancy & child birth.The Safe Motherhood Initiative was launched by the World Health Organization(WHO) and other international agencies in 1987.
It is aimed to overcome woman’smortality from complications of pregnancy and childbirth in developingcountries. It ensures prenatal, intra natal and postnatal services andsupervision.The risks ofchildbearing for the mother and her baby can be greatly reduced if: 1) a womanis healthy and well-nourished before becoming pregnant; 2) she has regularmaternity care by a trained health worker at least four times during everypregnancy; 3) the birth is assisted by a skilled birth attendant, such as adoctor, nurse or midwife; 4) she and her baby have access to specialized careif there are complications; and 5) she and her baby are checked regularlyduring the 24 hours after childbirth, in the first week, and again six weeksafter giving birth.For making motherhood safe and equity for women WHO hasrecommended four strategic interventions: 1. Family Planning, 2. Antenatalcare, 3.
Clean/ Safe delivery, 4. Essential obstetric care.Safe motherhood depends on the strength and capability forbearing and rearing healthy children. It is an important form of human capitaland an essential aspect of human development which is necessary to achieve ahealthy society.Anattempt is made to estimate the statusof maternal health. Following the method used in Human DevelopmentReport by combining the available data of three program related indicator andone nutritional status indicator.
With these four factors Safe Motherhood index(SMHI) of fifteen major states of India is constructed using the formulaeexplained in methodology and the states are ranked accordingly. The firstprogram related indicator for computing safe motherhood is ANC which ispercentage of women who had last live/still birth during reference period andwho received any antenatal check-up. Postnatal care is percentage of motherswho received post-natal care within 48 hours of institutional delivery.
Institutional delivery refers the percentage of women who had live/still birthduring reference period. The nutritional status indicator is the non anemicwomen i.e. here we take percentage of women within reproductive age group(15-49) having any kind of anemia.