In Jamaica, Obesity Is Linked to Higher Risk of Maternal Death

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By: Kayla McGowan, Project Coordinator, Women and Health Initiative, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; Sarah Hodin, Project Coordinator II, Women and Health Initiative, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

While Jamaica has seen a slow decline in maternal deaths, “Indirect causes account for an increasing proportion of these deaths,” said Lovney Kanguru, lead author of a recent population based study examining the consequences of overweight and obesity for Jamaican women of reproductive age…read more

Community-Based Interventions to Improve Maternal Mental Health in Resource-Constrained Countries

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By: Jane Fisher, Jean Hailes Professor of Women’s Health, Monash University

Recognition that pregnant and postpartum women living in resource-constrained low- and lower-middle income countries can experience mental health problems is growing. However, a double disparity remains. First, prevalence of mental health problems among women in resource-constrained countries is much higher than it is among women living in well-resourced countries, with the greatest burden among the poorest women with the least access to services. Second, while all high-income nations have substantial research evidence about the nature, prevalence and risks for perinatal common mental disorders, few resource-constrained countries have any evidence at all… read more

Why Maternal Mental Health Matters: A Case for Early Childhood Development

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By: Aisha K Yousafzai, Aga Khan University, Pakistan

Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) programmes frequently depend upon the capacity of the primary caregiver, more often than not, the mother, to provide optimal care for her young child. Increasingly, early childhood strategies recognize the importance of addressing the caregiving context, both challenges and enablers, which influence the quality of care that a mother provides for her young child. These factors conspire to moderate the emotional availability a mother has to respond to her young child’s needs as well as the availability of resources she has to invest in herself and her child… read more