Pregnancy is one of the most beautiful phases for any woman. The joy of creating a life from scratch, nourishing it inside her womb for nine months before giving birth is a matter of much pride. However, as thrilling as it might be, pregnancy is also a very critical phase, as the mother goes through several physical and psychological changes during pregnancy. This is why, it’s essential that the mother receives the best care, so that both the mother and the baby see this phase off without any complication or difficulty. This is when something known as ‘Antenatal Care’ comes in.
What is Antenatal care?
Antenatal care, also known as prenatal care provided by healthcare professionals is the care you receive during pregnancy. It is a series of appointments offered with either a midwife or at times with an obstetrician ( a doctor who specialises in pregnancy and birth).
They keep a constant check on the baby’s health as well as yours. They specialise in giving the most useful information required during pregnancy which will see to it everything goes as planned and healthily. These experts provide with possible answers to all your questions related to pregnancy, including diet, food choices and types of exercise you could indulge in while being pregnant.
Other things on offer with antenatal care include classes and various other vital workshops like breastfeeding, things to do when the baby kicks or moves etc. The prenatal care need not begin after you start your pregnancy tenure but before the 10th week.
How to get started?
Setting up an appointment with your general practitioner or consult your nursing home for the same. But before that, it’s imperative to acquire all possible information before your 10th week of pregnancy. At the appointment the professionals would check and provide for the below things:
- Your and the baby’s health
- Diagnose for problems which may need immediate support
- Identify and provide the best possible treatment required
- Help you get any additional support needed
- Plan your baby’s birth
- Expect the duration of your pregnancy with health and diet tips
- Answers to any questions you may have
Where can you get this care?
Antenatal care depends on various factors like your health, place of residence and various other circumstances. This care is available in most medical centres, or at the location, your doctor might suggest. In circumstances where visits to a health care centre or your doctor’s surgery might be a problem, the antenatal care could be arranged through a midwife or your GP visiting your home from time to time.
How to get a midwife?
Check with your doctor or GP to help you with this. Usually, these people know of local midwives or if you can find on your own contacting them is quite easy. An alternative to a midwife could be some maternity services offered in your locality especially for this purpose. So as soon as you fix on a midwife, without further delay set an appointment.
The first appointment in antenatal care is usually the longest you would experience throughout this process in the coming months. But, in the future meetings, with the midwife, the appointments are usually shorter, where they ensure timely check-ups and provide with the regular tips needed for improving the condition. There will be regular urine tests as well as blood pressure checks to do the best for the health of the baby. During all this, the midwife watches every step with keen eyes, and they are the ones who in the end tend to know a lot about you and your state of pregnancy.
Relevant information to be shared
Although the well being of your baby and you is the primary objective of antenatal care, the health, diet and overall pregnancy care tips they provide go the distance to ensure you do your part well to make sure the pregnancy is safe and healthy. However, there could be complications despite the care on offer, especially due to information that was not shared earlier with the professionals. This information could be:
- If there were any pre-eclampsia or premature birth issues from the last time around.
- You may have any chronic disease(s), like blood pressure or diabetes.
- A family history where babies were born with some abnormality.
- Family history of inherited diseases or any hereditary factors you may want to share
- Any genetic conditions that you feel may harm the baby. These conditions could be from the biological father as well.
- The baby could be the result of a fertility treatment or through a donor egg or sperm donor.
Antenatal Care was common among pregnant women since a long time. Only then, they were tended to by family members or close friends. The modern day version of the same involves professionals who know what’s perfect to keep you and your baby healthy at all times and costs. Moreover, taking this step and taking up antenatal care improves your chances of delivering a healthy baby, ensuring few or no complications, before and during delivery.
About the hospital:
Ankura Hospitals is a chain of Children’s Hospital in Hyderabad. Set up in the year 2011 in KPHB, near Hitech Railway Station, the Ankura Hospitals family has today spread its wings to Secunderabad, Khammam and Vijayawada.