Are you taking good care of yourself during your pregnancy? Antenatal care during pregnancy is essential to protecting your and your baby's health. If you want to know how to get proper care during pregnancy, keep reading.
Antenatal care is preventive healthcare that helps reduce the chances of potential health risks for the child and mother. You can receive antenatal care in various forms, like having a healthy lifestyle, regular checkups, and more.
You should start taking prenatal or antenatal care when you learn about your pregnancy. Let's dive into the blog and learn all about antenatal care during pregnancy.
What is Antenatal Care?
Simply put, this is the care you receive when you're pregnant to ensure a healthy pregnancy. In antenatal care during pregnancy, your midwife or doctor will also check on your and your baby's health. They will discuss with you the options and choices for your pregnancy care.
The doctor will also advise you on maintaining a healthy lifestyle and the best exercises to do during pregnancy. If you have any special needs that need catering, you must let your doctor or midwife know.
What is the Purpose of Antenatal Care?
The main aim of antenatal care is to detect if any existing problems have a chance of developing, which could further affect the mother and newborn baby. Antenatal care during pregnancy links the mother's and her family's health with a modern health system. This further ensures that the woman has good health throughout her life.
Inadequate care during pregnancy can affect both the mother and child. There are various screening tests and treatments that doctors advise the mother to undergo in case of any health risk. Moreover, there is no substitute for good antenatal care, which is why it's crucial during pregnancy.
What are the Antenatal Care Guidelines?
During your pregnancy, your doctor advises you on various aspects of your childbirth. They are your friends throughout the pregnancy process. Let's have a look at some of the guidelines regarding antenatal care during pregnancy:
The first trimester consists of the first 12 weeks of pregnancy or the first three months. During this time, folic acids are recommended, which reduce the risk of defects in the fetus. One has to eat a well-balanced diet to give the baby all the necessary nutrients.
During this phase, the doctor monitors the weight of the mother and baby. Smoking, alcohol, or tobacco must be avoided. The reason is that it can result in premature delivery of the child. Some medicines can be harmful to the child in the early stages. As a result, one must always check the ingredients of the medications. An ultrasound is done to check the development of the fetus and determine the delivery date.
Antenatal care in the first trimester includes doing blood tests for blood cell count, blood typing, hemoglobin, and diabetes too. The first-trimester screening test is also done to check for any abnormalities in the pregnancy.
The number of antenatal visits during pregnancy is scheduled every four weeks until the end of the second trimester. The tests done during this time are urine tests for checking blood sugar levels. Blood tests to check for infections and the blood cell count. An ultrasound to check the detailed anomaly malfunction is also done.
In the second trimester, the size and shape of our uterus are also measured clinically. The doctor checks the weight and pressure of the mother too. The doctor starts prescribing iron and calcium supplements from the early second trimester.
In the third trimester, you should visit the obstetrician every two weeks and weekly in your final month. This helps identify your fetus's position and prepares for the birthing process. Without proper antenatal care during pregnancy, there can be problems in the placenta or fetus. There can be other complications that go unnoticed without proper guidance.
Even if the mother feels fine, it's important to get antenatal care for her. This should continue at least 6 weeks post-pregnancy.
Why Do You Need Antenatal Care?
We must get antenatal care during pregnancy and not take it lightly. Here are some of the reasons why you need antenatal care:
You need the best nutrition during pregnancy, so you should avoid certain foods like raw fish, undercooked eggs, and more. Your doctor must prescribe the needed vitamins required for your baby's healthy growth and your benefit.
The antenatal checkup in pregnancy allows the doctor to keep track of the child's development inside the womb. The doctor can also check on the fetus's size, condition, and environment, which ensures that it's growing.
The baby and mother need screening so that the doctor can monitor the blood pressure and diabetes of the mother. This is crucial to avoid any chances of premature birth or any fatal conditions endangering the mother or child.
Some vaccines are needed during pregnancy to protect pregnant women. These include tetanus toxoid or flu shots. The pregnant woman needs to be immunized so that they can pass the antibodies to the fetus as well and better fight infections.
Antenatal care during pregnancy is when the mother learns about breastfeeding, caring for the newborn, and more. The mother also learns from the doctor how to cope with their pregnancy better.
Also Read: Pregnancy Week 11: Notice Your Baby Breathing!
As discussed above, we must encourage women to seek appropriate antenatal care. This can also help reduce the chances of stillbirth and complications with newborn babies. As soon as you know you're pregnant, reach out for antenatal care to receive emotional support and timely pregnancy information.
We go through many complex stages during pregnancy, and our antenatal care makes a big difference. If you're going to be a mother, you should know that you deserve antenatal care during pregnancy. So go out there to receive antenatal care and have the risk-free pregnancy you deserve.
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