Antenatal care is the care is received from healthcare professionals during pregnancy this care can be provided by a team that can include a Doctor, Qualified Nurse or Midwife, and usually with a doctor who specializes in pregnancy and birth (an obstetrician) at Health Facilities. The person providing the care can depends on where you live e.g. in some rural areas all care including delivery is provided by the doctor. But in some public hospitals, it can be chosen to have a pretest care provided by a small group of midwives – ‘team midwifery care’. And it might be able to see the same midwife during and after pregnancy women. If needs to be seen by a doctor, it would be one working in the hospital.
Objectives of Antenatal Care
The objective of antenatal care is to make sure the observation of maternal and fetal wellbeing during pregnancy, detect and treat conditions that may threaten the health of the fetus/ newborn and mother. Also creating available all suitable choices to fulfill optimal potential, and providing all essential support and preparation for a high quality life after birth. Another objective of antenatal-care is to assist a women approach pregnancy and birth as positive experiences.
The Basic Objectives of Antennal Care (ANC) are:
- Care of health of mother for the period of pregnancy.
- Support physical, mental and social well-being of mother and child.
- Ensure delivery of a full term healthy baby.
- Early detection of high risk cases and minimize risks by taking proper management during pregnancy
- Protect onset of complications through health education, and providing sufficient nutrition, exercise, vitamin intake and appropriate medical and pharmaceutical intervention.
- Screening for conditions and diseases such as anemia, STIs, HIV infection, mental health problems, and domestic violence.
- Teach the mother about child care, nutrition, sanitation and hygiene, and also position which is really appropriate to hold infants called Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC)
- Reduction of maternal and infant mortality and morbidity.
- Remove the stress and fears of the mother regarding the delivery process.
- Provide safe delivery for mother and educate mother about the physiology of pregnancy and labor by demonstrations, diagrams and illustrations so that fright is removed and physiology is improved.
- Counsel family planning and motivate the couples about the need of family planning.
- Give information on pregnancy and birth and discuss with the couple about the place, time and mode of the delivery provisionally and care of the newborn.
- Ensure continued medical surveillance and prophylaxis.
- Advice the mother about breast feeding, post natal care and immunization.
- Counsel and support to the women and her family for developing healthy home behaviors.
By Omer Mohamed (Jawaari)
BSc, MSc Reproductive Health Specialist
To be continued……………