The importance of antenatal care cannot be minimized. In the instance of Rohima above, during this visit she received vital information to inform her pregnancy and prevent another tragic loss of her baby.
The World Health Organization recommends a minimum of four antenatal care visits, however global estimates show that only about half of pregnant women receive that level of care. Besides providing important education and counseling to a woman and her family on the warning signs during pregnancy, it also provides the opportunity to receiving nutritional supplements, treatment for infection, and malaria and HIV treatment, when necessary.
Sita, a paramedic at the Poilarkandi Health Clinic, in Bangladesh performs an antenatal care check up on expectant mother Rohima. Rohima, 22, lives in Poilarkandi village and has come to the clinic for her first antenatal appointment at five months pregnant. Previously, Rohima had experienced an involuntary, spontaneous abortion at five months. Such an event is rare and indicates that her body may not be able to facilitate a healthy pregnancy. She is seeking medical attention this time to ensure that this baby is born healthy. Sita informed her that she because she is at high risk she will need to take almost total rest and refrain from any kind of work. Any undue stress on the body mat result in another lost child. Photo: CJ Clarke/Save the Children
The HNN Antenatal Care topic page has many resources, news, and blogs that focus especially on the antenatal period. Several recent resources that may interest you include:
- Participatory Women’s Groups presentation – Dr. Anthony Costello
- Effective Maternal Multiple Micronutrient vs Iron-Folic Acid Supplementation on Infant Mortality and Adverse Birth Outcomes in Rural Bangladesh – Journal of the American Medical Association
- Channeling Tradition – Dr. Naveed Jafri
- Evaluating midwife-led antenatal care: Choice, experience, effectiveness, and preparation for pregnancy – Journal of Midwifery
- New solution to Bangladesh health problems – Al Jazeera
- MSF opens first Ebola treatment center for pregnant women – Reuters