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Book for antenatal care early, City urges pregnant mothers Print E-mail
27 February 2017
EarlypregnancyBooking

Antenatal care is an essential part of pregnancy and the City of Johannesburg encourages women to book for it as soon as they find out they are pregnant.

Early booking for antenatal care is the cornerstone of maternal and neonatal care and has many benefits for both the mother and the baby. It also provides health practitioners with the opportunity to explain the importance of proper nutrition during pregnancy and breastfeeding to expecting mothers.

Antenatal care is given to pregnant women mostly for prevention and early diagnosis and treatment of general medical conditions and pregnancy-related complications.

Early pregnancy booking and regular follow-up of services usually provides opportunities for prompt interventions such as early detection of modifiable pre-existing medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and HIV/Aids.

Member of the Mayoral Committee for Health and Social Development Cllr Mpho Phalatse says good care during pregnancy is important for the health of the mother and the development of the unborn baby.

The City’s Health Department encourages every pregnant mother to book as soon as they become aware they are pregnant or 20 weeks before birth for a focused antenatal care.

“The focused antenatal care approach is aimed at the identification and surveillance of pregnancy-related risks to the mother and her unborn baby, screening for conditions such as anaemia, sexually transmitted diseases and HIV infections, mental health problems and treatment of concurrent illness,” says Cllr Phalatse.

In South Africa 70.4 % of maternal deaths and of children under the age of five are attributed to HIV infections.

“We encourage families to advise pregnant mothers to report pregnancy to health facilities before 20 weeks for the full benefit of the antenatal package,” says Cllr Phalatse.

She also advises women to stick to their appointments as this is an essential factor in determining that the baby is healthy and that the pregnancy is progressing well.

She says early booking helps expecting parents to gain insight into and get fact-based information on pregnancy, birthing options, breastfeeding and caring for a new-born baby so they can make informed choices.

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Last Updated on 27 February 2017