Maternal Health: How Did the MAMMI Study Begin?
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Trinity College Dublin online course,
Women’s Health After Motherhood
The MAMMI StudyWell, that was nine years ago, and that woman’s story was the inspiration behind the Maternal health And Maternal Morbidity in Ireland (MAMMI) study. She, and the 3,047 women who joined the MAMMI study, are the reason why we developed this course on Women’s Health After Motherhood (WHAM!). In the MAMMI study, we asked women about their general health and wellbeing, leaking urine, leaking faeces, pain, sexual health issues, mental health issue and domestic violence.What women told us, is that this woman was not alone, far from it.After women become mothers, many said the maternity and other health services have little or no time to listen to them about their health – it’s all about the baby.In many countries, postnatal healthcare focuses on the baby’s health, and women and their own health needs can be overlooked. Women are busy, and often they put their baby’s and family’s health before their own health and needs. While this might be understandable, it means that many women experience health problems that they are not talking about and their healthcare professional is not asking about, even though many of these health problems, if they are recognised at the time they happen, can be effectively treated and even prevented.Another problem women told me about was that they often struggled to find out what was and was not normal, when and where to get help, and how and where to find reliable, trustworthy information.Over the past few years, there has been a shift in language and approach to women’s health during and after pregnancy. Previously the language and goals of healthcare professionals and of health organisations spoke of ‘prevention’, usually prevention of maternal and infant mortality. This is a goal that we will always strive towards, but there is so much more that can be done for maternal health, beyond surviving childbirth.That is why it is so encouraging to see this move towards promoting, and sustaining good health and wellbeing in pregnancy and motherhood.The recommendations made by the World Health Organization for ensuring positive pregnancy experiences speaks volumes on the need to support mothers to be in excellent health, the foundation to creating thriving families and communities.This, too, is the goal of our course. We want women throughout the world to be able to support and maintain their own health by becoming really well informed and understand what common health problems can occur and why. Importantly, we want women to recognise what is common but not normal and offer self-help tips and strategies. Most importantly, we want women to become empowered and know when it’s important to ask for professional help and how to have those conversations.We want to enable women to become empowered with knowledge so that every woman can enjoy motherhood and life with a new baby in good health.Our key message for you is this: don’t just exist, don’t put up with health problems, motherhood is about thriving, not just surviving.
|Dr Deirdre Daly|
Hello, I’m an Assistant Professor in Midwifery in the School of Nursing and Midwifery, Trinity College Dublin. For the past 35 years, I’ve worked with mothers, fathers and families as a midwife and also taught midwives. In 2011, I started the Maternal health And Maternal Morbidity in Ireland (MAMMI) study. The MAMMI study was created ‘with and for’ women, and now has active participation from women in all parts of the research – women co-design, co-develop and co-present the study and its findings. Our motto is ‘nothing about women without women’.
Women’s Health After Motherhood
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