Pregnancy involves prenatal/antenatal and postnatal care of the mother. It includes treatment and training for pre-pregnancy, pregnancy, delivery, and care of the mother and the baby.
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Antenatal care/ Prenatal care
Antenatal care is health care that women gets during pregnancy, before delivery. Taking prenatal care early and regularly can help you to improve the health of both the mother and the fetus. Regular care helps the doctor to understand the problems and risks of the pregnancy if any. Your doctor will send you to the practitioners who are experts in a high-risk pregnancy if there is a chance for you;
If you are healthy and there is no complication, then you have to visit your doctor in;
-every 4 weeks until the 28th week of pregnancy
-then, every 2 weeks until 36 weeks
-then, once a week until delivery
Antenatal tests can help the doctors to check whether there is any birth defects or chromosomal problems in the fetus. These tests are done in 1st, 2nd and 3rd trimester. It includes,
Common pregnancy concerns:
These conditions are serious but manageable if you take early care.
Other measures to take during antenatal care:
-Sudden loss of fluid
-A noticeable absence of movement of the baby
-More than 3 contractions in an hour
Postnatal care is the health care given to the mother and the newborn baby, immediately after birth and for the first 6 weeks. Care of the mother and newborn after birth:
It is recommended that the woman should not be discharged from the hospital 24 hours after birth. Someone should accompany the mother and the baby to respond to any changes seen in the condition of the mother and the baby. Many complications can occur in the first 24 hours.
Care of the newborn after birth:
The doctor will give guidance for breastfeeding as well as information about the cord care, and other care for the baby at home.
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FAQs or frequently asked questions on Antenatal and Postnatal Care
It should start between 8-12 weeks of pregnancy. The earlier you start antenatal checkup is better.
Folic acid can reduce the risk of having a baby with neural tube defect such as spina bifida.
First 6 weeks after birth is critical to the health and survival of the mother and the baby.
The postpartum woman should have an assessment of vaginal bleeding, uterine contractions, fundal height, temperature and heart rate during the first 24 hours.
Lochia is the heavy flow of blood and mucus, starts after delivery and last for about 10 days. Spotting can continue up to 6 weeks after delivery.