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Antenatal Care: All You Need To Know As A New Mother

Antenatal care is the care that you receive from your doctor, or midwife when you are pregnant.

This care is provided constantly to monitor your health and that of the baby. Your doctor will also discuss care options, labor, and birth. They will enlighten you with useful information that would lead to a healthy pregnancy.

Antenatal care also helps reduce child mortality rates in Nigeria and promotes the physical and mental health of the mother and child.

Questions Asked During Antenatal

antenatal care questions about antenatal
  • The date of the first day of your last period
  • Any recurrent illnesses
  • Previous forms of delivery e.g., via cesarean section
  • Any previous operations
  • If your family has any history of congenital, familial, or inherited medical conditions
  • Your socioeconomic status and that of your partner

What Happens During An Antenatal Visit

  • Blood pressure management
  • Provision of blood sample
  • Urine sample
  • Tetanus Vaccination
  • Pregnancy supplements
  • Weight check
  • Symphysiofundal height measurement (measure stomach protrusion)
  • Listen to baby’s heartbeat
  • Antenatal classes/lecture

Antenatal Tests

antenatal care, antenatal tests
  • Gestational diabetes screening
  • HIV, syphilis, and hepatitis B
  • Urinalysis
  • Blood Group
  • Genotype
  • Ultrasound scan – 8-14 weeks, 18-21 weeks, 25 weeks till term.
  • OGTT – oral glucose tolerance test- done at 24-28 weeks
  • Rhesus factor test

Your doctor/midwife will give you information about

  • What to buy
  • Preparing for labor
  • Breathing techniques
  • What to do if you are feeling contractions
  • What to do if you do not feel the baby kicking for days

When To Start Antenatal

It is advisable to start your antenatal at around 8-12 weeks of pregnancy. Antenatal visits are usually once a month till 28weeks and then twice a month until 36weeks.

Drugs To Avoid During Pregnancy

antenatal care
  • NSAIDS e.g., ibuprofen, diclofenac. They can cause delayed onset of labor, jaundice, and miscarriage. It also damages the linings of the intestine.
  • Fluoroquinolones:  Drugs like ciprofloxacin and levofloxacin. These drugs could cause problems with the baby’s muscle and skeletal growth as well as joint pain and potential nerve damage in the mother
  • Chloramphenicol: This causes grey baby syndrome
  • Sulfonamides: They cause jaundice
  • Pregnancy treated with quinine during the first trimester was associated with significantly increased cases of miscarriage. It was also found that quinine may cause abnormalities in the Central nervous system.
  • Clonazepam: This is used in the prevention of seizures and panic disorders. It is also used in the treatment of anxiety attacks. Taking this drug during pregnancy can lead to withdrawal symptoms in newborns.

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