Friday 8th March 2019 is International Women’s Day (#IWD2019(external link)), a moment in time that we can celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.

This years’ theme, #balanceforbetter(external link), reflects that the future for women is exciting. It is a time that we can all use our voices to drive a better and balanced world, one that supports advocacy, inclusive mindsets and tangible action.

Mothers Matter would like to use this day not only to celebrate the achievements of women around the world and highlight the need for gender equality, but also to empower women to speak up, to use their voices and make a difference not only for ourselves but also for our future generations.

We’re talking specifically about postnatal care – the first 48 hours after having a baby. Not only can it be extremely exhausting and worrying time for first-time mothers, for many women the postnatal period can often be a very difficult time and this is when the highest level of care and support is needed.

Postnatal care, often referred to as the ‘Cinderella’ of maternity services, is one of the most important periods in maternal care, and we need an urgent shift in the emphasis we place on this care to ensure our women can successfully transition to mothers.

The impact that good postnatal care can have on mothers experience and her long-term health in the context of the increasing complexity of the health of women who become pregnant should not be underestimated.

Ensuring adequate, timely, and efficient care for mothers postnatal care is important to our society as a whole. When we are lifting up, honoring, and supporting mothers in the critical postpartum period, we are ensuring that we are giving new families everywhere the best start possible.

More needs to be done to ensure our women have the opportunity to receive the postnatal care to which they are entitled. More needs to be done to ensure that our mothers and babies have the best health and well-being outcomes and more needs to be done to ensure our mothers and babies are safe.

The foundation of human health is programmed early in life and we owe it to our children, and their generations of children to come to use our strong voices to make a positive change for the future.

#IWD2019(external link) #balanceforbetter(external link)