The objective of Maternal Care in Pregnancy is to give adequate care to pregnant women to ensure as far as possible, a safe pregnancy and the birth of a healthy baby. Good antenatal care is to be preceded by effective pre-conception care, which includes advice in the following areas:

  • Good nutrition, physical activity and dental care
  • Vaccinations
  • Readiness for sexual activity, including safe sexual practices
  • Methods of contraception and provision of contraceptives
  • Diagnosis of vaginal and pelvic infections, herpes and other STIs including HIV
  • Pre-conception testing for genetic conditions
  • Diagnosis of other medical co-morbidities (e.g. essential hypertension, diabetes mellitus, heart disease, sickle cell disease)
  • Diagnosis and treatment of anaemia, fibroids and other common conditions
  • Avoidance of smoking and use of alcohol and other recreational drugs
  • Importance of early registration at clinic for antenatal care (after the second missed period)

Every pregnant woman should have:

  • Antenatal care initiated by the 16th week of pregnancy.
  • A minimum of four antenatal visits up to the 32nd week of pregnancy in uncomplicated pregnancies and a minimum of four additional visits up to term.
  • A complete physical examination at the first visit and reassessment at the 36th week.
  • Blood tests done for CBC, blood group & Rh factor, sickle cell, VDRL and HIV and random sugar at the first antenatal visit.
  • Immunization status re Tetanus and Rubella assessed.

Minimum Equipment which must be made available for Clinic visits include:

  • Weighing scale
  • Height measure
  • Sphygmomanometer and stethoscope
  • Urinalysis set
  • Measuring tape
  • Fetal stethoscope, preferably hand-held electronic but alternative is the aural or Pinard’s
  • Blood glucose meter

Caribbean Public Health Agency © 2014