Antenatal Care during Your Pregnancy
The period from conception to pregnancy requires care. As soon as your pregnancy is confirmed, you’ll need to meet a midwife or GP to schedule the necessary consultation for your pregnancy. These are described as your antenatal care. The consultation is broken into appointments—hospital visits.
Why go to antenatal appointments?
The foremost reason you need antenatal care is to keep you and your pregnancy healthy. Even if your pregnancy is healthy, it’s crucial you book an appointment with your GP or any other healthcare provider so that any potential risk can be identified and prevented.
Antenatal consultation provides a platform for you to ask questions concerning your pregnancy like what happens during each trimester, pregnancy symptoms, birth and how to care for your baby.
Your lifestyle, including dietary advice, or mental health can be supported through antenatal appointments. You can get help to quit habits like smoking, drinking alcohol and drug use.
Who will you get to see at your antenatal appointment?
It’s your decision to make when it comes to who you want to see during your appointment.
Sometimes, you may want to see your GP first before choosing a midwife.
If you’re planning to give birth in a public hospital, it’s likely you will see a midwife or doctor at the hospital.
If your plan is to have your baby at a private hospital, you’ll probably see your obstetrician.
Having your baby at a birth centre will mean an appointment with a midwife.
If it is a home birth you want, then your appointments will be with a midwife in your home, the clinic or some other place in the community.
What happens during antenatal consultation?
The kind of antenatal care you’ll receive will be dependent on your health and any risks you or your baby may have; your pregnancy stage, and any other concerns you may be experiencing.
During the consultation, a good number of scans, checks, tests, and discussions will take place. Some of the things you and your doctor will discuss include:
How many antenatal appointments will I have?
This will depend on whether it is your first pregnancy or another one and the state of your pregnancy.
If it is your first pregnancy and it’s healthy, about 8 to 10 appointments may be recommended. Your midwife or GP will give you an appointment plan during your first antenatal visit.
If it’s not your first pregnancy, the appointment will reduce to between 7 and 9 visits.
In the event of developing pregnancy complications, your doctor may increase the number of visits.
Can you come along with your partner?
Wow, that’s such a great idea. You can come with your birth partner, friend, or family member to your appointment, especially when discussing your birth plans and if you will like them to support you during delivery.
If you need further information on certain concerns about your pregnancy or antenatal care, you should consult with your GP, obstetrician, midwife, or any other healthcare provider of your choice in the hospital where you are planning to give birth.
Getting the right information and care during this stage of your pregnancy is paramount to a healthy childbirth. Take your antenatal consultation seriously because there are things you may not know.