Importance of Antenatal Care

Congratulations! You have just found out that you’re expectant! It’s now time to consider proper pregnancy care until the arrival of your new bundle of joy. Most expectant mothers plan their first antenatal care visit between 8-12 months after conception. Others, especially those in arid and semi-arid areas like northern Kenya or those who are too far from any clinic barely attend. It is essential that every expectant mother attends antenatal clinics. Here are some reasons why:

  • To ensure proper health for yourself and your baby 

The main aim of antenatal care is to make sure that the health of the mother and growing baby are properly monitored. This is beneficial in catching preventable illnesses and any abnormalities that could be present in the pregnancy. Emotional and mental support is also important and counselling can be offered if you seem to be distraught or anxious with your pregnancy.

  • Test that give further insight into the pregnancy

Frequent blood work, scans and screening that are usually carried out during antenatal tests help your doctor to manage any problems that are present and also prevent others that could be harmful to your pregnancy. Complications like high blood pressure and gestational diabetes can be managed.

  • Weight gain and nutrition can be monitored

What you eat during pregnancy is essential determines the health of your pregnancy. Antenatal visits give your doctors the opportunity to check whether you’re gaining enough weight to support your pregnancy. Any advice that could include a change of diet, an increase of exercise or addition of certain minerals may be given during your frequent antenatal visits.

Scans at Different Stages of Pregnancy

Scans are taken at different stages of pregnancy to see inside the uterus and look at your baby’s development. These scans are used to take your babies size and weight. An anomaly scan, especially, checks that your baby’s internal organs are developing well. Any problems that are identified early can be managed or cured.

Vaccinations

Vaccinations such as tetanus toxoid and influenza vaccines are offered at different stages during the pregnancy. These vaccines prevent any possible complications that could arise during pregnancy and are available in all government hospitals.

Advice

Couples who attend antenatal clinics together are often given insights on how to handle the delivery, especially for first timers. Expectant fathers are also trained on how to support their spouse and on danger signs to look out for.

What Has the Government Done to Encourage Antenatal Care?

  • Linda mama initiative-this ensures that all expectant women can afford quality and affordable health care through NHIF.
  • Beyond zero campaign-mobile clinics and this campaign are visiting far flung areas to cater to all expectant mothers.

Disclaimers:

Please note that development differs from one child to another. 

Content intended for educational purposes only, and not a substitute for medical advice from your doctor.

Be careful when using any products mentioned on this website. We hold no regulations for such products or their providers.

Last reviewed April 2019

Sources: nation, stjohnhealth, parentssquare, nhif

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