Care for your pregnancy begins immediately when it is confirmed. You need to see your family doctor, general practitioner or midwife as soon as possible to make a schedule for all the appointments that will be necessary before the birth of the baby. These are what we refer to as antenatal care.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
WHO WILL I SEE AT THE APPOINTMENTS?
This will depend on where you prefer to give birth. Most women see a general practitioner first before deciding on a midwife or obstetrician.
If you want to deliver the baby at a public hospital, you will be shown to a doctor who specializes in pregnancy and deliveries. Other hospitals have midwives for this case.
Birth centers and private hospitals also have midwives, but most of the latter have obstetricians. If you are planning to do it at home then you may have to hire a certified midwife.
Antenatal care for every woman is different, depending on several factors such as health, stage of pregnancy, medical history and risks that both mum and child may be facing.
Generally, there are usually some scans, checks, and tests that will be performed to establish:
HOW MANY APPOINTMENTS WILL I ATTEND?
That will depend on individual factors. First-time mothers often attend more than those who have given birth before. The plan will be formulated and handed to you during the first appointment.
The number will also depend on whether you are experiencing any difficulties or problems that may require more attention from the doctor. For instance, a woman who has had a history of miscarriages will need close care and supervision.
The number of appointments can also increase if your pregnancy is taking a rough path. It will require more tests to be done to identify the problem and try to solve it.
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