Antenatal classes are beneficial for expecting parents, regardless if you’re having a natural birth, a second child or a C-Section. Also known as prenatal care, antenatal care is the advice and assistance you receive from healthcare professionals such as midwives, specialist doctors and obstetricians during pregnancy.
These professionals ensure baby and you are doing well and provide information to help you undergo a successful, healthy pregnancy. They provide emotional support, advice, medical care and relevant and timely pregnancy information to help protect you and baby’s health.
Antenatal care also includes classes, which include breastfeeding and baby massage lessons and sessions where parents are taught to manage physical and emotional changes during pregnancy. Parents can expect to receive information on exercise, diet, childbirth, pain relief during labour and managing newborns, among other essential topics.
Enormous significance for maternal health and child survival
The World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF say the advantages of receiving regular antenatal care cannot be stressed enough.
When to seek antenatal care
Book an appointment with your doctor or midwife as soon as you know you’re pregnant. It’s best to see them as early as possible to obtain the information you need to have a healthy pregnancy.
Early in your pregnancy, your midwife or doctor will give you information on the number of appointments you’re likely to have and when these will happen. You should have a chance to discuss the schedule with them. If you can’t keep an antenatal appointment, let the clinic or midwife know and make another appointment.
Benefits of antenatal care
Quality antenatal care should be available for all women to ensure a positive pregnancy experience.
When delivered professionally and positively, quality antenatal care will:
- Reduce stillbirths, childbirth complications and newborn deaths
- Help women get care and counseling for HIV, malaria, TB and other conditions and complications such as hypertension and diabetes
- Provides caregivers with an opportunity to explain the importance of proper nutrition during pregnancy and breastfeeding
- Help expecting parents gain insight and receive pertinent information on pregnancy, birthing options, breastfeeding and caring for a newborn baby
- Give partners an opportunity to understand the whole process of pregnancy, birth and early parenting
Assunta Hospital provides comprehensive and exclusive maternity services to prepare both first-time and experienced moms for their journey into motherhood. Our maternal and child services include parent classes, baby massages, breastfeeding lessons and home-care services. These are designed to ensure your partner and you develop the confidence and care necessary for a happy, healthy pregnancy and the best-possible birthing experience.