Antenatal care and you!

Did your pregnancy kit just show up a positive result? Are you unaware of what you should do? What is the right way to go about with your pregnancy? If you are into pregnancy and are not able to understand the steps that you should be taking, then its time you get yourself understood that you are in a transformational stage of your life and you need an antenatal care and visit. Motherhood is a very beautiful time of life and it needs a good care and guidance for you to deliver a healthy baby. Antenatal visits are very important for you to keep going through the pressure of delivering a healthy child as well as keeping check of your health problems. Here is what you need to know about it.

What is antenatal care?

Antenatal care or prenatal care is the preventive health care checkups that you receive from your doctors or midwifes during pregnancy for the safety measures and encountering the possible health problems that might occur during pregnancy. The doctors generally check the health level. The preventive measures that can be taken, the healthy eating and exercising tips, and answer your queries on anything you ask.

Antenatal care has worked towards decreasing maternal death and miscarriages in the pregnancy cases all over the world and now there are now antenatal classes available worldwide.

How to start with antenatal care?

As soon as you get to know about your pregnancy, it is very important to give a visit to your doctor. The doctor’s visit reconfirms the pregnancy, your health conditions and prepares the vital of your pregnancy. You can book an appointment with your doctor and let them know of your pregnancy. It’s best to see them as early as possible to go through multiple tests that need to be done before 10 weeks into pregnancy.

At this meeting, it is important to let your doctors or midwife know about your health problems and any disability you might be facing. The doctors are going to be your partners for the period of pregnancy and shall be making all the arrangements for you.

What happens at your antenatal visits?

Your antenatal visits can happen at the comfort of your home or the doctor’s clinic depending you’re your flexibility and the availability of your doctor. There are a number of visits that you will undergo with your midwife or doctor throughout your pregnancy period and they all have their own significance. Antenatal visits focus on your health and important factors that shall be useful for you to know and understand. You will have almost ten antenatal visits if you are pregnant for the first time and a few less if it’s your second baby. If there is some special medical condition that needs doctor’s attention you may have an increased number of antenatal visits. Let us understand the importance of the antenatal visits and what is done in them.

First Visit

The first visit to the doctor might be scary for you but is very important and detailed compared to the other visits and the woman should take special care in letting the doctor or midwife to know about her health conditions and state everything that she is required to tell her doctor. At this visit the woman should be given the following details:

  • Folic acid and vitamin D supplements
  • Nutritional diet program
  • Lifestyle factors and their reasoning
  • Screening tests for sickle cell disease and thalassemia, infectious diseases etc.
  • Advise about exercising
  • Planning of further antenatal visits
  • Discussion of health issues

It is very important for you to be open about your health conditions and simple facts that guide your daily life. You need to talk out everything with your doctor for a safer and precautionary guidance into your pregnancy. Let your doctor know about:

  • Your diabetic or high blood pressure problems
  • Details of previous pregnancy
  • Family history of diseases
  • The health of the first baby
  • Details of any treatment undergone before

Later Antenatal Visits

In the upcoming antenatal visits, the bookings for further visits are made and in them the second visit plays a vital role. In the second visit which generally happens in the 8th-12th week of pregnancy the woman is made aware of the development process of the baby and the exercises that must be undergone during pregnancy are taught. The antenatal screening tests are taken and the planning of the pregnancy period is made along with the labor problems and delivery time.
The common details that are discusses in the later antenatal visits are:

  • Teaching sessions of breastfeeding a child
  • Detailed information of the labor period and birth
  • Preparatory notes for the upcoming baby
  • Baby care information
  • Understanding the requirements of the new born baby

General questions that you might be asked

Apart to what has been listed there are a lot of questions that doctors ask the patients for their insight into the patient’s health and body condition. These questions can be about:

  1. The details of your last period
  2. Your health reports
  3. Any previous illness or operations
  4. Your family history, the origin and the temporary or permanent diseases in the family
  5. You and your partner’s lifestyle
  6. Any mental health problems the patient is dealing with
  7. Any previous pregnancy or miscarriage

Your maternity notes

Maternity notes are recorded in the form of a maternity diary which includes all the vital information which is necessary to be noted for continued supervision of the pregnancy. Maternity diary holds the doctor’s prescription, the medicinal requirements, doses, the health guidelines, the nutrition required, the nest antenatal visit schedule, the baby health, the necessary checkups, the birth plan and any other important detail that shall be required for a ready reference.

You will be required by the doctor or midwife to maintain the maternity notes at your home and write down any experience or health problems that you encounter everyday and bring it to the clinic at every antenatal visit to understand the problems better. The general things that you can note in your maternal notes diary are:

  1. The questions that arises in your mind
  2. Any pain or discomfort caused
  3. The reactions of some specific food items
  4. The sleep patterns
  5. The food supplements
  6. The cravings and mood swings

Antenatal care is a complete process of you and your child’s growth and development and should be undergone with much understanding and know. The doctors are the best people to keep consulting when pregnant and you should undergo the entire treatment with happy feelings and courage as it is a process where you are taking care of the life you are giving birth to!

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