Maternal Mortality is defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as the number of deaths of pregnant women within the first 42 days after the termination of their pregnancy, regardless of the duration of the pregnancy before its termination (Darney, Saavedra-Avendano, & Lozano, 2016). The Mexican National Health Information System adds that maternal mortality also includes female deaths per every 100,000 live births, from causes that result from the management of the pregnancy (Darney, Saavedra-Avendano, & Lozano, 2016). Under this circumstance, the death may occur during the pregnancy or during childbirth. In Mexico, the trends of maternal mortality differ across its 31 states as well as the Federal District (Ganatra & Faundes, 2016).
Maternal Mortality in Mexico is highest among populations with low social economic status (Ganatra & Faundes, 2016). The national rate of maternal mortality has been significantly reducing over the past 6 years. For instance, at the end of 2010 the maternal mortality rate of Mexico was 50 deaths per 100,000 live births (Lamadrid-Figueroa, Montoya, Fritz, Olvera, Torres, & Lozano, 2016). By the end of 2015 the rate was approximated to have dropped to 33 deaths per 100,000 live deaths. Despite this, the regions with a majority of populations belonging to poor economic status, for instance Oaxaca, recorded rates of approximately 60 deaths per every 100,000 live births (Lamadrid-Figueroa, Montoya, Fritz, Olvera, Torres, & Lozano, 2016). The information shows how varied Maternal Mortality rates are in Mexico.
In specific terms, the maternal mortality is prevalent among the youth populations. A majority of the women who make up the statistics are young and uneducated women between the ages of 14 years to 26 years (Ganatra & Faundes, 2016). The women are commonly subjected to gender based violence and they mainly play domestic roles within the communities that they come from. Other than domestic violence and abortion, the other common causes of maternal mortality in Mexico include hemorrhage which accounts for 30% of maternal mortality, and preeclampsia/eclampsia which accounts for 28.2% of the mortality rates (Ganatra & Faundes, 2016).
Nurses are playing significant roles in ensuring that the high levels of maternal mortality in Mexico are reversed (Ganatra & Faundes, 2016). For instance, the nurses have increased their activities with regards to offering general consultation for pregnant women as well as screening services (Ganatra & Faundes, 2016). Additionally, the nurses are currently better trained in tubal ligations and C-section so as to guarantee successful c-section births for women with delivery issues. In the long run, these attributes have all contributed to reduced rates of maternal mortality (Lamadrid-Figueroa, Montoya, Fritz, Olvera, Torres, & Lozano, 2016). Women who visit maternal care centers in Mexico are now capable of rotating in the various available options including pediatrics, internal medicine and emergency wards if the need arises (Lamadrid-Figueroa, Montoya, Fritz, Olvera, Torres, & Lozano, 2016).
More nurses are currently offering family planning and prenatal care to mothers to ensure that they are able to successfully give birth (Darney, Saavedra-Avendano, & Lozano, 2016). Over the past 10 years, there has also been an increase in the counseling services that nurses offer pregnant women. The counseling includes the Oportunidades, program which incorporates considerations of domestic violence counseling (Darney, Saavedra-Avendano, & Lozano, 2016). Pregnant women are comprehensively screened by the nurses who aim at ensuring that the risks that the pregnant women are exposed to are minimized. The screening allows them to address most if not all of the reproductive health needs of the women (Darney, Saavedra-Avendano, & Lozano, 2016). Another significant way through which the nurses contribute to improved maternal mortality statistics in Mexico is offering midwives with training on maternal healthcare. The nurses use maternal mortality data to find ways of improving their maternal health service delivery, thus constantly ensuring that their practice becomes more effective in future.
Midwives in Mexico have currently evolved their traditional techniques to include some aspects of modern medicine (Darney, Saavedra-Avendano, & Lozano, 2016). This has significantly enhanced their effectiveness in reducing maternal mortality. The midwives engage in extensive training of both their traditional techniques as well as the modern medicine to ensure that they have better understandings of maternal issues (Darney, Saavedra-Avendano, & Lozano, 2016). As a result, they are now more effective than they were in the past. The midwives have also expanded the scope of their services. Their services are no longer limited to the childbirth process. They now offer prenatal and postnatal care to the pregnant women and mothers. They are also increasingly becoming formalized as is evident in Oaxaca, Mexico (Darney, Saavedra-Avendano, & Lozano, 2016). This has made it possible for them to be included in the formal national healthcare system in Mexico.
The overall outcome of the contributions of the nurses and the midwives in improving maternal care is that pregnant women in Mexico currently have better access to quality healthcare services (Lamadrid-Figueroa, Montoya, Fritz, Olvera, Torres, & Lozano, 2016). Women who are unable to access health institutions are able to access midwives who are now better trained. Additionally, the number and quality of the services offered by nurses has increased (Ganatra & Faundes, 2016). The women are able to receive counseling on how to cope with issues such as domestic violence and many of them successfully undergo the childbirth process. From an overview, these factors have resulted in an overall reduction of maternal mortality.
- Darney, B. G., Saavedra-Avendano, B., & Lozano, R. (2016). Original research article: Maintaining rigor in research: flaws in a recent study and a reanalysis of the relationship between state abortion laws and maternal mortality in Mexico. Contraception, doi:10.1016/j , doi:10.1016/j.
- Ganatra, B., & Faundes, A. (2016). Role of birth spacing, family planning services, safe abortion services and post-abortion care in reducing maternal mortality. In Best Practice & Research Clinical Obstetrics & Gynaecology , DOI: 10.1016/j.bpobgyn.2016.07.008.
- Lamadrid-Figueroa, H., Montoya, A., Fritz, J., Olvera, M., Torres, L. M., & Lozano, R. (2016). Towards an Inclusive and Evidence-Based Definition of the Maternal Mortality Ratio: An Analysis of the Distribution of Time after Delivery of Maternal Deaths in Mexico, 2010-2013. PLoS ONE. Vol. 11 Issue 6 , p1-11.