The number of visits suggested for women during the antenatal period by WHO
The newest guidelines from the World Health Organization recommend that women should attend 8 ANC visits.
ANC visits provide
The ANC visits should provide components of care that include
- blood pressure measurement
- fetal growth monitoring
- urine testing
- iron-folic acid supplementation
- tetanus vaccination
- At least three doses of Intermittent Preventive Treatment with Sulphadoxine/pyrimethamine (IPTp), deworming after the first trimester.
Antenatal care refers to
- Antenatal care refers to the care that is given to an expected mother from the time of conception is confirmed until the beginning of labor.
- Visit each week after 33 weeks until delivery.
- More frequent visits may be required if there are abnormalities or complications or if danger signs arise during pregnancy.
Women start antenatal care at a gestational age of fewer than 12 weeks – this is referred to as early antenatal care.
It is best to make the appointment when you think you may be pregnant or at around 35 days of the missing period.
Women attending at least one ANC visit have a 1.04% points reduced probability of their newborn dying within the first month after birth and a 1.07% points lower probability of experiencing the death of their child within the first year of life.
The aims of antenatal care are to,
- Promote, protect and maintain maternal and fetal health
- Offer women maternal and fetal screening
- Detect risk and provide necessary care available to women
- Provide advice on self-care during pregnancy
- Improve women's experience of pregnancy and childbirth
- Prepare women for motherhood whatever their risk status could be
The pregnant woman will be assessed for Checking
- The symptoms of poor nutrition or lack of iodine.
- Signs of anemia
- Shortness of breath
- Blood pressure
- Fetus' heartbeat
- Cervix length of uterus
- Wall push-ups
- Seated row back
- The Kegels
The benefits of antenatal exercises
Exercise helps to relax and make the pregnant woman feel better. It improves the circulation of mother and baby. It reduces aches and pains of pregnancy e.g. backache, cramps, etc.
Kinds of activities that aren't safe during pregnancy
- Any activity that has a lot of jerkies, bouncing movements that may cause the pregnant woman to fall, like horseback riding, downhill skiing, off-road cycling, gymnastics, or skating.
- Any sport in which she may be hit in the belly, such as ice hockey, boxing, soccer, or basketball.
The exercises to be avoided during pregnancy
Exercises to avoid while pregnant hard projectile objects or striking implements - such as hockey, cricket, or softball. falling – such as downhill skiing, horse riding, and skating. extreme balance, coordination, and agility – such as gymnastics. Significant changes in pressure are noticed– such as SCUBA diving.
Most exercises are safe to perform during pregnancy, as long as it is done with caution and do not overdo it. The safest and most productive activities are swimming, brisk walking, indoor stationary bicycling, and low-impact aerobics (taught by a certified aerobics instructor).
During the first trimester (weeks 1 to 13), the pregnant woman can keep doing whatever she was doing before she became pregnant. Unless there's a risk that she could be hit like getting too hot or having a fall. If not used to exercising, start gently and build up slowly.
The fruits to be avoided during pregnancy
Papaya– It tops the list for obvious reasons.
Pineapple– These are also not recommended to pregnant women as they contain certain enzymes that alter the texture of the cervix which could induce premature contractions.
Squats are extremely safe for most pregnant people, and also highly recommended, says DeGrace, because they can help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. Squats also improve hip mobility and improve blood circulation to your whole body—all things that help prepare the pregnant mother for labor.
Managing weight during pregnancy
- Fresh fruits and vegetables make good snacks. They are full of vitamins and low in calories and fat.
- Eat bread, crackers, and cereals made with whole grains.
- Choose reduced-fat dairy products. The pregnant mother needs at least 4 servings of milk products every day.
The beverages to be avoided
- Alcoholic beverages
- Unpasteurized (raw) milk
- Unpasteurized or "fresh squeezed" juice
- More than 200 mg of caffeine per day
Requirements of protein needs during pregnancy
Each of pregnant women's daily meals should contain protein (aim for 75g a day) because her baby needs those amino acids to grow strong. yogurt, cheese, tofu, eggs, peanut butter, omelettes, and dairy-infused smoothies are all solid, tasty options.
The first tests that are done when you become pregnant
Tests at first appointment measure the height and weight, and work out the body mass index (BMI) measures the blood pressure, and test your urine for signs of pre-eclampsia. Also, take a blood test to check HIV, syphilis, or hepatitis B.
High-Risk Pregnancy is possible for those women who are,
- Weighing less than 42 kg
- Lower than 45 cm height
- Below 19 years of age
- Previous history with risk pregnancy
- Already gave birth to more than four children
- Gives birth to many babies in a single delivery
- Frequently aborted
- The baby that is born after death or dies immediately after birth
- Pregnancy-induced hypertension
- Gestational diabetes
- Increased or decreased amniotic fluid
- Weight gain of more than 3 kgs in a month
- Bleeding before delivery
- Prolonged labor and with leftover the placenta
Ideal scanning period in every pregnancy
- 8 Weeks - Dating Scan to check if the baby is alive whether single or twin pregnancy and to accurately assess the age of the pregnancy and expected date of delivery.
- 12 Weeks - NT scan + First Trimester screening to screen for chromosomal problems like Down's syndrome and to look for any early congenital abnormalities.
- 20- 22 weeks - Target scan - to look for (details of visualized organs) the baby and growth profile of the baby.
- 30 -32 Weeks - Growth scan. To look for the baby's growth profile. Fluid volume and position of the baby.
NOTE: All birth defects can not be detected by ultrasound.
EXTRA SCANS COULD BE DONE IN CASE OF HIGH-RISK PREGNANCIES
The warning signs of pregnancy
- Swelling of feet
- Severe headache
- Blurring vision
- Bleeding or discharge in the vagina
- Severe abdominal pain
- Any other unusual symptom
Maintaining personal hygiene during pregnancy
- Wash body regularly
- Keep hands clean
- Apply lotions or cream after bathing to soothe skin
- Wash intimate area twice a day with mild soap and lukewarm water, but not more than twice
- Use a soft, clean cotton towel to dry the vaginal area. This will avoid vaginal infections
- During pregnancy avoid wearing sweat-soaked dresses
- Dental disease can increase the risk of certain pregnancy complications. So it is important to have special care by brushing twice and rinsing teeth after eating every time
The signs of pregnancy
- Nausea with or without vomiting
- Increased urination
- Food cravings and aversions
- Tender, swollen breasts
Caring for the breasts during pregnancy
- Wear a bra that provides proper support without pressing or rubbing
- During the third or fourth month of pregnancy buy a larger bra
- Nipples may leak a small amount of clear or yellowish fluid called colostrum. It is a sign that the body is getting ready for breastfeeding
- Clean colostrum from your breasts using only warm water. Avoid soap or alcohol-based cleansers to avoid dryness
- Gently massage the nipples and this will help for breastfeeding in the future
The tips provided for intercourse during pregnancy
Normally women change their feelings during their pregnancy, they can have normal intercourse.
but when pregnancy progresses, the abdomen grows large. There may be times when intercourse might be restricted for certain problems. It is common for intercourse to have some contractions to be uncomfortable for the mother. but are not harmful to the pregnancy or the baby. If intercourse is painful or if bleeding or vaginal discharge occurs or if water breaks prematurely, contact your doctor immediately.
Some tips to be followed while traveling during pregnancy
- If traveling by plane, bus or train, get up and move around in intervals
- If traveling by car, fasten the seat belt as low as possible around the abdomen
- Sitting for long periods of time in a vehicle may cause leg cramps, discomfort, and tiredness
- Late in the pregnancy, it is a good idea to avoid long trips. Stay at home and stay safe
The risks of obesity during pregnancy
- Large babies
- Gestational diabetes
- Pregnancy-induced hypertension
- Fetal distress
- Premature labor and delivery
- UTI (urinary tract infections)
- Fetal anomalies
- Shoulder dystocia
- Cesarean section
It is recommended that if the BMI is 30 or greater, it needs to be discussed with a doctor regarding the dietary plans.
For ANC, there is a wonderful chance of getting a pleasant atmosphere at Akshaya Women's Care, 5-A Ramakrishna road in Salem. Under the efficient guidance of Dr.Vani Pujari and her expert team of doctors, most of the deliveries are made to be successful.