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
- 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