Today’s edition on Tiny Beating Hearts on Radio was as always, a blast. Our discussion was on the Role of Men in Pregnancy. Our guest on the programme is a Public Health Specialist, an expert on Health System Management and the Chief Medical Director of Kogi State Hospitals Management Board, Dr. Zakari Usman. Dr. Zax did so much justice to the programme our one hour seemed like 30 minutes. Of course, our audience called and sent in messages from all around Kogi State and as far as Edo State. As usual, more men called in with questions and contributions.
From the discussions, it is incontrovertible that men have a critical role to play when their wives or partners are pregnant. We at TBHI have long noticed the high interest and participation of men in our programmes and discussions, today’s edition placed a lot on emphasis on the need for men to make it a habit to accompany their pregnant spouse or wife to keep antenatal/doctor’s appointments.
Someone asked if it was okay for a woman to begin antenatal at 8 months so long as she is healthy? Dr. Zax’s response to this was that it was not OK. A seemingly healthy pregnant woman might actually have some issues that may be building up all the while she appears healthy only for the issue which could have been arrested early enough become a major problem days or weeks down the line. Another reason why it is pertinent to register for antenatal services very early on in pregnancy is to prevent the transmission of certain infections from mother to child. This may not be effectively done at later stages of pregnancy.
Another issue raised by this particular person was if Dr. Zax would advise a pregnant woman to patronize traditional birth attendants since their services were cheaper than hospitals. In very clear terms that there were a number of critical skills that TBAs lack which puts the lives of pregnant women who patronize them at risk. For instance, during prolonged obstructed labour, doctors are trained to carry out interventions which can help save both mother and child. Bleeding during child birth is another situation which could come up and require more than the skills TBAs have to save maternal lives.
Other questions revolved around infections during pregnancy and how to treat them, nature of ectopic pregnancy and their implications for future pregnancies.
A caller from Anyigba admonished ladies to be vigilant and choose their partners well as some men are “naturally wicked” and would never support their wives during prey.
Men are encouraged to have sex with their pregnant spouses so long as it doesn’t pose a risk to the growing child. The guest also encouraged couples to try out different sex styles during pregnancy to increase pleasure and rule out pain. Dr. Usman was quick to note however that there are women who do not enjoy or crave sex during pregnancy while there are others whose desire for sex increases during pregnancy. The key to being a helpful and understanding partner during pregnancy is to be informed about pregnancy and how it affects women biologically, physically and psychologically.
Tiny Beating Hearts on Radio returns next week with another interesting topic.