This article is available also in spanish here

Cities and maternity: how new urban planning can help with pregnancy and breastfeeding practices

My list

Author | Jaime RamosBirth rate is now a hot topic across the world. This is due to the declining rates in Western nations as well as the exponential population growth in the rest of the world. This particularly affects cities, which already hold 54% of the world’s population, a proportion which is expected to increase to 66% by 2050.

Fairness in maternity

These situations generate strong social differences, which are experienced even before a child is born. This is also a challenge faced by smart cities, which involves taking steps to ensure fairer conditions in terms of maternity and paternity.Urban planning with a commitment to the family as the original nucleus of society begins with equal access to healthcare. This is an extraordinary challenge in countries with large populations and high birth rates. At the other extreme, in points of the globe where birth rates are declining and the population is ageing, smart cities are developing formulas to integrate families with new members into their structures and encourage this to occur.

Combating child mortality

MaternityA particularly paradoxical example can be found in the United States. This powerful country has an excessive child mortality rate. There are 5.8 infant deaths for every 1,000 births the US. This public health problem is due, in part, to the social gaps still existing in the country.More specifically, black babies are 2.4 times more likely to die than white babies. In this regard, this year, the city of Columbus, in Ohio, will test a pilot programme to assist pregnant women, in a bid to tackle the problem of the number of infants dying within the first year of life.Aimed at the most disadvantaged areas, the project will connect and monitor pregnant women providing them with transportation for healthcare and other essential services such as grocery shopping or pharmacy trips.

Improving breastfeeding and complementary feeding practices

Another project in the same vein is Alive and Thrive, which seeks to extend the benefits of maternal breastfeeding worldwide. Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, together with the government of Canada and Ireland, it understands that breastfeeding is an investment, not just for the health of babies, but for society as a whole.BreastfeedingThey indicate that each dollar invested in breastfeeding generates a return of $35 to society in economic benefits, by improving children’s health and thanks to the benefits in terms of cognitive development. In this regard, smart cities are equipped with resources to integrate breastfeeding as a beneficial social phenomenon.Recently, there has been a surge in solutions to help mothers to begin breastfeeding or prevent early weaning. An example of this is Momsense. This is a sensor-based system designed to analyse how babies breastfeed.In more developed countries, the challenges of paternity, maternity and breastfeeding, are closely related to employment conditions. For working mothers, it is really complicated to reconcile their work with breastfeeding. In this respect, smart cities provide solutions such as teleworking and flexible working schedules.We cannot ignore the significant social and economic benefits of overcoming these current obstacles, nor the fact that harmonising birth rates and helping parents may pose significant problems regardless of the wealth of the cities.Images | iStock/petrenkod, iStock/SHansche, iStock/tatyana_tomsickova, iStock/lolostock

Related Content

Recommended profiles for you

Remember to activate your profile to network!
Activate profile
Néstor Cabañas
Néstor Cabañas
Ajuntament de L'Hospitalet
Project manager
DIANA MENDOZA
DIANA MENDOZA
DAVIARI
Chief Marketing Officer
MR
Maria Romero Manzanera
UOC
student
MS
Marta Serra Fontalba
Can Corda
Manager
JG
Jorge Garcia
Intelligent System Vitale SL
CEO
MC
Marcelo Colaço
Grupo Multimidia
Editores de revistas e portais especializados.
as
ayi sugandhi
NSUP-KOTAKU
program institutional, financing and manual
AF
Atim Firdaus
Ronin Ekstra Distorsi. PT.
Supervisor
Gabriel Grajales
Gabriel Grajales
Universidad Intercultural Indígena de MIchoacán
Coordinator of the Bachelor of Arts and Cultural Heritage
UDAY DALVI
UDAY DALVI
ARAGORN INFRATECH PVT LTD
DIRECTOR
PM
Pratik Menkar
Nashik Municipal Smart City Development Corporation Limited
Urban Planner
GM
Graciela Noemi Magan Gutierrez
ASCI.Codesarrollo e Investigacion
Manager
Ignacio Alcalde
Ignacio Alcalde
City Focus SL
CEO
CV
Carola Vega
IdenCity
Consultant
wie cai wie cai lay
wie cai wie cai lay
interior design
interior designing and field supervise , interview with client and propose design solution
Rhodalyn Lumague
Rhodalyn Lumague
City Government of Makati
Housing Homesite Regulation Assistant
LF
Lars G Fröjd
Virtual Management AB
CEO
hk
heungsoo kim
mirangcurl
owner
JP
Jonathan Pranata
-
student
JK
Jolanta Kramer
Linden Alley sp. z o.o.
Director of Business Development

SmartCity
Thank you for registering to Tomorrow.City. You can now start exploring from your computer, or with your phone or tablet downloading our app!
Only accessible for registered users
This content is available only for registered users
TO: $$toName$$
SUBJECT: Message from $$fromName$$