“Stress factor should be considered in pregnant earthquake victims”

Gynecology and obstetrics specialist Dr. Sedef Ramoğlu said that after the earthquakes in Kahramanmaraş, living conditions in tent and container cities are quite difficult for pregnant women.

Dr Ramoğlu stated that the examinations and follow-ups of pregnant women should not be interrupted and that they should be fed regularly, saying: “There is an increase in negative pregnancy outcomes in pregnancies during disaster periods. The side effects that can occur during pregnancy during disasters are the threat of miscarriage, the risk of low birth weight due to nutritional deficiencies, the risk of premature birth and placental abruption (separation of the placenta that nourishes the baby from the uterine wall). Checkups and follow-up of expectant mothers should be done regularly because of the increased risks. If the expectant mother has suffered a physical trauma as a result of the earthquake, the treatment and follow-up of these conditions should be evaluated first, then the pregnancy status and the health of the fetus.

‘REQUIRED MATERIALS FOR TOILET AND SELF-CARE MUST BE PROVIDED’

Drawing attention to the difficult living conditions in the earthquake zone, Dr. Ramoğlu said: “Vitamin and mineral supplements should be made in case of possible malnutrition, and care should be taken to ensure that the mother receives adequate fluids. Appropriate clothing and shelter should be provided to prevent heat loss from the body. Since hygiene issues can cause infections, necessary materials for the toilet and self-care needs of the expectant mother should be provided. Expectant mothers and children should be provided with health protection in case of disasters,” he said.

‘THEY SHOULD NOT ONLY BE SUPPORTED PHYSICALLY, BUT ALSO PSYCHOLOGICALLY’

Dr. Ramoğlu pointed out that 5 percent of women of childbearing age are pregnant during natural disasters. Recalling that excessive stress can cause premature birth, Dr. Ramoğlu said, “Mothers in earthquakes should be supported not only physically but also psychologically. Stress is a very important factor in terms of preterm birth. In order for the pregnancy to proceed normally, expectant mothers should stay away from stress as much as possible after the earthquake. News and images about the earthquake should be avoided. Participating in various activities such as walking, growing plants, yoga and meditation can help the expectant mother to reduce her stress. Various relaxation and relaxation techniques help reduce muscle tone, blood pressure, and stress hormone levels. “Planning and preparing for an earthquake in advance will be one of the most important ways to deal with this fear,” he said.

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