Prenatal care is basically care given to pregnant women from the initial stages of pregnancy to the time just before delivery. Medlineplus states that “Prenatal care is the health care you get while you are pregnant. It includes your checkups and prenatal testing. Prenatal care can help keep you and your baby healthy. Standards for Maternal and Neonatal Care by the Department of Making Pregnancy Safer, World Health Organization states that ‘all pregnant women should have four antenatal care assessments by or under a supervision of a skilled attendant’. The importance of prenatal care will be discussed subsequently.
First of all, prenatal care helps to monitor the development of the fetus. The bump of the mother is measured from time to time to track how the fetus is growing in size.The blood test and the physical exams also tell much about the health status of the pregnant woman. With the help of 3D ultrasound, the fetus’ sex( whether male or female) can be determined. Monitoring of the fetus development is necessary for taking proactive measures to prevent possible disabilities. Therefore, prenatal care is important for monitoring the development of the fetus.
It also helps the doctor offer the right nutritional advice. As part of the prenatal care given in Ghana, some form of tutorial is given to attendees to enable them know the right food to eat. Quality nutrition during pregnancy is important because some nutrients like vitamin K,C and folic acid are needed for extra blood production, the general well being of the mother and the development of the fetus’ neurological system and cells. It is important because it helps the doctor to know the nutrients that the mother is deficient in and how to supplement it naturally through dieting.
Additionally, prenatal care gives the opportunity to create a birth plan.it is not so common in Ghana. Birth plan basically helps to plan whether the other partner should be present during labour and choose where to give birth. It basically helps you to have ‘a say’ in what happens during delivery. At prenatal classes.the to-be mother and the husband can make the plan with expert advice from the doctor or health assistant.
Most importantly, it helps to prevent possible maternal and neonatal mortality. A number of women have lost their lives during birth.Prenatal care can help curb complications that lead to death of mothers during delivery. To eradicate maternal mortality, it is key to receive prenatal care during pregnancy.
Prenatal care is necessary for reduction of maternal mortality and other related problems. The World Health organization has recommended that every pregnant woman should receive at least four antenatal visits during pregnancy.