What is Antenatal Care?
Antenatal care is the clinical assessment of mother and foetus during pregnancy. It traditionally involves a number of routine visits for assessment of pregnant women before and during pregnancy.
The objective of antenatal care is to ensure the supervision of maternal and foetal well-being during pregnancy, identify and treat conditions that may threaten the health of the foetus/ new born and mother. Also making available all appropriate choices to fulfil optimal potential, and providing all necessary support and preparation for a high quality life after birth. Another objective of antenatal-care is to help a women approach pregnancy and birth as positive experiences.
The importance of antenatal care
Antenatal classes can be very beneficial for expecting parents – whether you’re having a natural birth, a second baby or even a C-Section. Antenatal care is an essential part of pregnancy and should start as soon as you find out you’re expecting. Having a healthy pregnancy is one of the best ways to promote a healthy birth.
Attending antenatal classes will give you and your partner an opportunity to ask questions you don’t always remember at your regular pregnancy check-ups, and you’ll meet other expecting parents and make new friends.
Sticking to your appointments is essential to determine if your baby is healthy and whether your pregnancy is progressing well.
Benefits of antenatal care
- Antenatal care can prevent complications. A small minority of pregnant women develop complications such as hypertension and diabetes. Early diagnosis means they can be properly monitored and treated.
- Antenatal care provides caregivers with an opportunity to explain the importance of proper nutrition during pregnancy and breastfeeding to expecting moms.
- Antenatal classes will help expecting parents to gain insight and get fact-based information on pregnancy, birthing options, breastfeeding and caring for a newborn baby so that they can make informed choices.
- “Antenatal classes also give partners an opportunity to understand the whole process of pregnancy, birth and early parenting.