Importance of antenatal

Antenatal care is the routine control of presumed healthy pregnant without symptoms (screening), in order to diagnose diseases or complicating obstetric conditions without symptoms, and to provide about lifestyle, pregnancy and delivery.

According to , routine antenatal care (ANC) is defined as the care provided by practitioners (or others) to all pregnant to ensure the best conditions for the and their fetuses during pregnancy.

When pregnant, it is important to have regular check-ups with a midwife or doctor. These check-ups are called antenatal care or antenatal visits. Antenatal means before birth. A midwife specialises in caring for during pregnancy, birth and after the birth.

recommends that pregnant should all receive at least eight antenatal visits to spot and treat problems and give immunization. Although antenatal care is important to improve the of both mother and baby, many do not receive eight visits.

Dr. Fatima Rahis of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, of Teaching Hospital, states that expectant mothers know their status using the urine pregnancy stripes and recommended that a woman should register for antenatal care as soon as she finds out that she is pregnant.

Rahis says some of the risks women face when they don’t attend antenatal care are still birth, difficulty in , losing the child in womb because of complications, some expectant mothers don’t come to the hospital until they are about to bleed to death, a day after the child is already dead.

Rahis reiterates that once a woman comes to antenatal care at early stage, that is during the first trimester of the pregnancy, she prevent pre-eclampsia, eclampsia and other pregnancy complications from occurring because she will be examined each time she visited.

She urged government and non-governmental organisations to do more in the health sector so that more women have access to antenatal care.

Rukaiya Musa Hyera,

Department of Mass Communication,


[email protected]

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