5.4 Encouraging care-seeking behaviour
Encourage the mother, her partner and other family members to seek care immediately if they notice any of the danger symptoms, either in her physical or her emotional state. Delays are a very important cause of maternal and neonatal deaths in the early postnatal period and include:
- Delay in early recognition and decision making to seek help, due to wrong beliefs and cultural taboos. Families may also be afraid of the costs involved if they access the health system.
- Delay in getting transportation to the Health Post or higher level health facility, or getting a health worker to visit the house.
- Delay in receiving appropriate care once in the health facility, due to inadequate staffing or lack of equipment or supplies.
Empowering the mother and the family on early care seeking is fundamental in delivering optimum postnatal care. You should try to develop the capacity of the community to cope with any emergency condition that may occur during the postnatal period. Particularly, attention should be given in every village to designing an emergency evacuation system for mothers and newborns with life-threatening conditions.