Key practice: Antenatal Care
For every mother and child, good health
Ensure that every pregnant woman goes for eight antenatal care (ANC) visits from an appropriate health care provider.
Every pregnant woman needs support from her family and community in seeking care during pregnancy, at the time of delivery, after delivery and during the lactation period.
Why is Antenatal care important?
The purpose of antenatal care is to ensure good health in every pregnant woman and her unborn baby by checking for any conditions that may cause a risk either during pregnancy or at birth. Antenatal care should be started as soon as you have missed one (1) menstrual period. Go for eight (8) ANC visits spread out over your pregnancy period with a skilled health worker at a health facility
Danger signs during pregnancy
Report promptly to the doctor or nearest health facility if any of the following danger signs or symptoms appear:
- Extreme swelling of hands, feet and wrist.
- Headaches and vomiting if prolonged, severe or repeated.
- Pain in the abdomen or chest.
- Bleeding, spotting and water from the vagina.
- Eye problems such as double or blurred vision and swollen eyelids.
- Bladder trouble especially painful urination and blood stained urine.
- Chills, fevers and exceptional fatigue.
- High blood pressure and varicose veins.
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Benefits of Antenatal Care
During antenatal care visits:
- The pregnant woman is checked and treated for any conditions which may harm her pregnancy, such as Malaria, Anaemia, HIV/AIDS, STDs.
- The pregnant woman’s urine, blood, blood pressure, position of the baby and weight are examined.
- The pregnant woman receives information that will help her have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby, such as: advice on the best foods to eat; preventing HIV/AIDS and STDs; preparing for a safe delivery; preparing for the newborn and breastfeeding.
- The unborn baby is checked to make sure that it is growing well.
- The pregnant woman gets two (2) Tetanus immunisations to protect the unborn baby from getting Tetanus.