Antenatal Care During Pregnancy

Antenatal and Postnatal Care Services

Antenatal care is the care given to a woman by skilled health professionals when she is expecting a baby. You may want to know the people caring for you during pregnancy and your child’s birth. Our Antenatal care at Keysborough Superclinic has a team of General practitioners (GP) and nurses who can assist and make you feel comfortable during pregnancy. Antenatal care also known as maternity care is essential once you have confirmed pregnancy and even if you are having a healthy pregnancy. It enables early identification of pregnancy-related risks and complications.

Antenatal care during pregnancy is very important for protecting the health of pregnant women and their unborn child. So once your pregnancy is confirmed it’s important to go for regular checkups. This helps your doctor and midwife to check your and your baby’s health and treat any problems early on. Through this form of preventive health care, a woman can learn healthy behavior, better understand warning signs during pregnancy, and access micronutrient supplements. Antenatal care also provides Blood tests, HIV testing, to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV, Ultrasound scans, immunization against Tetanus, and many more. The WHO recommends that every pregnant woman should receive at least eight antenatal visits for the mother and baby’s physical, mental, and social health. Regular antenatal visits allow asking any questions and talking about any concerns related to pregnancy with your doctor.

How many Antenatal appointments ?

If you are expecting your first child you will have up to 10 antenatal appointments. But if you have a baby before you may require fewer appointments, approximately 7 appointments or as per your medical condition. During the early stage of pregnancy, your midwife or GP will confirm how many appointments are required and what tests and scans need to be done. You should have a chance to discuss the schedule of the antenatal appointments with them. If you have any health issues in early pregnancy or have any worries about your baby between your booked appointments, you may ask for more checkups.

Types of Antenatal care

1) Midwives : A midwife is a trained health professional who takes care of women through pregnancy, labor, and birth. They are responsible for care and advice that will help you with a healthy pregnancy. Midwives help with safe birth, take care of newborn babies, and guide mothers with breastfeeding.

2) General Practitioner (GP) : They are your first point of contact. GP is the one who confirms your pregnancy. They will check your overall health and ask about any medical issues that can affect you and your baby’s health. The doctor may ask to make changes in your lifestyle that will be good for you and your baby. They will guide you through different routine checkups necessary for pregnancy.

3) Obstetrician : Obstetrician is a medical doctor who is specially trained to take care of pregnancy. They are specialized to handle very complex pregnancies and birth. Obstetricians at our hospital are specialized and experienced to handle obstetric and gynecological problems. Therefore, if you have a high-risk pregnancy, you are likely to see them more often.

Antenatal Care Guidelines

Antenatal care guidelines were developed to provide pregnant mothers with consistent and high-quality maternity care. As per the guidelines, a woman must get her first antenatal visit within the first 10 weeks of pregnancy. The guidelines are for all health professionals -Midwives, GP, and Obstetricians.

Antenatal Care Procedure

Antenatal care can be described as the most effective form of preventive care. This helps to improve the mental and physical health of the woman. Essential components of the antenatal procedure involve.
  1. Taking a patient’s history:
    • Menstrual history: Your age when the menstrual cycle started, whether cycles are regular, and the date of your last menstrual period.
    • Reproductive history: Any previous abortion, miscarriages, and any problem with early pregnancy.
    • Family health conditions such as any genetic problem.
    • General health involves vaccination and any serious health issue in the past.
  2. Conduct a physical examination: Measure the weight, and check blood pressure and respiratory rate.
  3. Carrying out laboratory tests such as hemoglobin, and urine test for sugar and protein.
  4. Health education on transmissible diseases such as HIV, family planning, nutrition, and signs of labor pain.
  5. Urine test to confirm if you have bladder or urinary tract infection.
  6. Identification of high-risk pregnancy.
  7. Travel by vehicles having jerks is avoided during the first three months and last three months of pregnancy.
  8. Use of tobacco, caffeine and alcohol.