Must a Pregnant Woman go for Antenatal?
Pregnancy is a time of great worries and expectations. It comes with a lot of inconveniences that most women would not wait to see it come and pass. Because of the stress and all what not that comes with carrying a baby, some women always seek for short cut. so don’t be surprised that this question is coming: Is antenatal care compulsory during pregnancy?
Well, without wasting time. The answer is yes, antenantal is a ‘must’ for a pregnant woman, for the following reasons:
1. To Improve the outcome of the pregnancy both for the woman and her baby: It is during antenatal that the doctor will find out what you are carrying. As shocking as it may sound, some persons have carried fibroid for nine months only for them to find out that they were never pregnant.
During antenatal, the doctor or the midwife examines you, to see whether you are having a medical condition that can adversely affect your baby and yourself. Some disease like diabetes mellitus, hypertension, epilepsy, sickle cell disease etc, are very dangerous in pregnancy, and if you do not go for antenatal to find out if you have these diseases, the outcome of that pregnancy is in God’s hand. So you should go for antenatal, it is a must, so that the outcome of the pregnancy can be favorable both to you and to us.
2. To find out, treat or prevent those factors that affect pregnancy: Just as I said in the paragraph above, it is during antenatal that diseases that badly affect pregnancy are found out, treated or prevented. Apart from that, there are other factors ( what we call in medical terms “physiological changes in pregnancy“) that must be corrected or prevented. For example, during pregnancy, the level of immunity against diseases decrease, and this makes you to catch infection easily. Also, during pregnancy there is an increased chance of resistance to insulin by your body. This makes you to easily develop ‘gestational diabetes‘ if not managed well. Insulin is a hormone in the body that helps your fat cells and skeletal muscle cells to take up glucose from your blood. So if insulin is not there, you will have a lot of glucose in your blood, which is the hallmark of diabetes mellitus, and it is very bad for your body.
During antenatal, your blood pressure will be checked to know if you have high blood pressure (hypertension), your weight also will be measured to know and guard against obesity which is very dangerous to pregnancy.
3. During Antenatal, you get advise, reassurance and education on best pregnancy and child care practices:
Regrettably, some women prefer hearsays from the neighborhood, mothers and grandmothers. This is not suppose to be so. Pregnancy is a school. You never finish learning, even if you have finished giving birth. Just as every marriage is unique, so is every pregnancy. So the best of advice during pregnancy must come from doctors and nurses during antenatal. The best workable reassurance should come from them. Always understand that they are experts and take their advice.
Expertise is field-specific
4. Antenatal presents the opportunity to do general health screening. Of course you already know that there are a lot of screening tests that you need to do. This is one opportunity that Antenatal brings. In our rural areas, so many women get pregnant and deliver without seeing the four walls of the hospital or a maternity. God have mercy. Some of the screening tests that you will do during Antenatal are blood tests – genotype, blood groups, Blood glucose level, HIV test, hepatitis B and hepatitis C infection, and Urine test – urinalysis
In conclusion, the benefit of antenatal cannot be overemphasized. It is a matter of life and death, you just have to know this. It is unfortunate that so many pregnancy related deaths are preventable. Please do not joke with your life. Go for antenatal, and yes, it is a must!
I’m sure you do have have questions, please use the comment box below.
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