Ante-natal care or pre-natal care is the care required by a pregnant woman before the birth of the child. Ante-natal care includes the following:
1. Regular visits to ante-natal care: At the clinic the doctor or midwife examines the pregnant woman by carrying out the following tests:
- urine test
- blood test
- blood pressure
- weight check
- abdominal examination
At the clinic, the woman also learns about child care and how to care for herself.
2. Good nutrition: the pregnant woman should eat balanced and nutritious foods regularly.
3. Proper clothing: she should wear loose, comfortable and attractive clothes. High heeled shoes and tight clothes should be avoided.
4. Personal hygiene: she should take her bath regularly and maintain good personal hygiene.
5. She should avoid strenuous work, such as lifting heavy loads.
6. She should take only prescribed by the doctor or midwife.
7. She should avoid smoking and alcohol.
8. She should do mild regular exercise and have enough rest.
Importance of ante-natal care
Ante-natal care is important for the following reasons:
1. The tests at the clinic can show any problems which the woman and the baby may have. When the problems are discovered, they can then be controlled by the doctor.
2. Ante-natal care helps the foetus (the baby in the womb) to develop properly.
3. It helps the mother to keep well.
4. It helps the mother to prepare properly for the child birth.
5. The talks given by mid-wives at ante-natal clinic teach the mother how to take care of herself. They also help any fears and doubts the mother may have about pregnancy and child birth.