FOUR REASONS WHY YOU MUST PRIORITIZE ANTENATAL CARE
Once you get pregnant, you tend visit the hospital a lot. A new routine is introduced into your life. You are taught what to and what not to do during your pregnancy. According to most mothers, there normally is a feeling of ecstasy during these visits. You get to know your expected due date and hear the heartbeat of your baby. Most importantly, early complications are detected and corrected. That being said, let’s get straight into business. What exactly is antenatal care?
Antenatal Care is the procedure done for the health control of presupposed healthy pregnant women that are asymptomatic in order to diagnose abnormalities or complicating obstetric conditions that are asymptomatic and to provide information that would improve lifestyle, pregnancy and delivery.
REASONS ANTENATAL CARE SHOULD BE PRIORITIZED
Did you know? Every year there is an estimated 20 million pregnancies in the world. Most of these pregnancies have their own risks. These risks are detected and reduced during antenatal care and thus morbidity and mortality rates are reduced in both mother and child. Importance of antenatal care include:
Detection and treatment of early pregnancy complications:
A small percentage of pregnant women develop pregnancy complications such as gestational diabetes, preeclampsia and rhesus incompatibility which can be detrimental to the health of the growing fetus. Being under the watchful eye of skilled health experts can be a great asset as you’re be monitored and treated accordingly
Gaining insight about pregnancy:
Antenatal care helps you to gain fact-based information about your pregnancy, childbirth options, childcare and breastfeeding amongst others. You get to know the changes your body might go through; morning sickness ,carpal tunnel syndrome(compression of the median nerve causing numbness pain and tingling in the hand or arm), tender and swollen breasts et al
Key supplements and good nutrition:
Certain foods such as raw fish, undercooked meat and raw eggs must be avoided as they contain enzymes that are dangerous to a developing fetus. Note that when you’re pregnant, your immune system is working for two, so you are more susceptible to bacterial attacks. You’ll also be given multivitamins and folic acid as they support the baby’s development and prevent anemia.
Prevention of sexually transmitted infections and mother to fetus transmission:
Some sexually transmitted infections such as chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis can be cured with antibiotics during pregnancy. However, viral infections such as HIV and hepatitis can’t be cured. Antiviral medication can be used to reduce the risk of transmission in some cases. You may need to deliver via c-section if you have HIV.
Antenatal care is very important especially when started early as it can prevent complications of pregnancy such as miscarriages stillbirths and death. Antenatal care is linked to a more positive experience of childbirth. Don’t be scared to ask any question that bothers you when you go for antenatal classes. These classes help you prepare for the hardest, most challenging but also most rewarding hours of your life.
Pregnancy is not a disease. Look your best and most importantly, be a queen everyday.