Antenatal care is the clinical assessment of mother and fetus during pregnancy. It traditionally involves a number of routine visits approximately 12-16 for assessment of pregnant women before and during pregnancy.
The objective of antenatal care is to ensure the supervision of maternal and fetal well being during pregnancy, identify and treat conditions that may threaten the health of the fetus/ newborn and mother. Also making available all appropriate choices to fulfill 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.
- Maintenance of health of mother during pregnancy.
- Promote physical, mental and social well being of mother and child.
- Ensure delivery of a full term healthy baby.
- Early detection of high risk cases and minimize risks by taking appropriate management.
- Prevent development of complications through health education, adequate nutrition, exercise, vitamin intake and appropriate medical and pharmaceutical intervention.
- Screening for conditions and diseases such as anemia, STIs, HIV infection, mental health problems, and domestic violence.
- Teach the mother about child care, nutrition, sanitation and hygiene.
- Decrease maternal and infant mortality and morbidity.
- Remove the stress and worries of the mother regarding the delivery process.
- Provide safe delivery for mother and educate mother about the physiology of pregnancy and labor by demonstrations, charts and diagrams so that fear is removed and physiology improved.
- Advice family planning and motive the couple about the need of family planning.
- Predict possible problems during pregnancy and provide an appropriate treatment.
- Provide information on pregnancy and birth and discuss with the couple about the place, time and mode of the delivery provisionally and care of the newborn.
- Ensure continued medical surveillance and prophylaxis.
- Advice the mother about breast feeding, post natal care and immunization.
- Advice and support to the women and her family for developing healthy home behaviors.