Thursday, January 10, 2013

Recommendation to Adopt "Perinatal"

Hi Friends,

I have come to believe "mother to child" is stigmatizing and that it has just become standard without anyone thinking about its effect.  It is easily substituted by the word “perinatal". We have been using this a long time, but a couple of year ago, I heard another mother say something that has finally broken through to my consciousness.  It is time for the everyone to re-think this.  Community can make that happen!

I serve on the Pediatric Guidelines Panel for the DHHS and we have initiated the change there. I was surprised when I made the suggestion to the Guidelines panel in the context of stigmatizing the mother, it was accepted without hesitation. Now, as we revise those treatment guidelines, we will be removing the term “…MTC” everywhere it occurs in the guidelines.  I am asking the community at IMPAACT and the Community Partners at all networks to consider expanding the effort.  As new protocols are written, we can ask that “perinatal” be used in the title and throughout the document instead of “mother to child”. The Perinatal Guideline panel can change their language, too. It is a huge task since use of MTC is so pervasive, but one step at a time, I’m certain we can do this! 

Dorothy S - Former Community Partners Co-chair

Contact: Russell Campbell (



  1. I have never seen our CAB get so excited about a topic discussion as they did this one!!!! discussions are still underway and we are curious to know what the adolescents have to say about this at their first meeting early next month. Will definitely keep you posted.

  2. It all boils down to educating our communities about the true meaning about PMTCT. And as has been so rightly put without the word " transmission" the terminology sounds incomplete. It would be a good idea for community advisory boards to establish what people in the community understand by that term. How was the information carried out to them? How much information regarding PMTCT is available and how regularly?
    I have visited many antenatal clinics in our surrounding area in cape town and found that a lot of talks are conducted in waiting room areas regarding the importance of breastfeeding from birth, but not much about PMTCT, in fact I am of the impression that this topic is mostly discussed behind closed doors in a counselors room during hiv/aids testing process.
    this should not be the case. And if it is then WE need to do something about it.
    Please note, I am not speaking on behalf of all the health care facilities so I may be wrong but merely speaking from observations I have made at the few clinics that I have attended.

    This is the one platform where I would like to see community advisory boards take the lead.

  3. "MTC"
    This sounds good but personally I feel that it is more stigmatized when it does not speak about the true meaning of 'Prevention' and 'Transmission' because PMTCT is not only applied to those who have the virus but to every pregnant mother. I think this is what it is here in Zambia. I do not know about the USA side. Every woman who becomes pregnant knows that there is PMTCT and are not marveled with this term. Mother To Child will not give any valid sense to my side because it sounds incomplete statement. It is Mother to Child what?? If it is Mother To Child then specification Transmission. The word 'Transmission' is the sense of the entire meaning. This could be transmission of any transmittable disease.

    Bridget Mwewa