The joy of motherhood is beyond comparison, and every woman wants to enjoy the experience of having a safe pregnancy and delivery. Antenatal period is the period of time from conception till the day of childbirth. It usually lasts between 37 to 40 weeks after conception.
The antenatal period can be overwhelming for expectant mothers, that is why antenatal visits are very important to ensure that everything goes on fine for both mother and baby.
Antenatal visit refers to the periodic hospital visit during pregnancy. Some women begin their antenatal visit at 3,4,5 or 6 months of pregnancy, but it is best you visit the hospital immediately you conceive so that the best month to start will be assigned to you by your doctor.
Why is Antenatal Visit Important?
Antenatal care is mainly a cornerstone for decreasing the death of children and prevent or treat any complications that may arise during the period of pregnancy. It is also aimed at discovering an existing problem or problem that may arise during pregnancy which may affect the mother or the unborn child. In addition, antenatal visits also helps to improve maternal and child health.
Some care rendered during this period may include various screening tests, diagnostic procedures, and prophylactic treatments, some of which are routinely done. Others are provided to the woman based on the findings and risk factors that may affect the mother or the child growing in the womb.
Goals of Antenatal Visit
Your healthcare providers, during your pregnancy, wants to ensure that you and your unborn baby receive the best care possible. Antenatal visits gives them the opportunity to monitor the progress of your pregnancy and prepare for the safe delivery of your baby.
Some of the goals of antenal visits include:
- Promotion and maintenance of the physical, social and mental health of the mother and growing child.
- Detecting and managing complications during pregnancy.
- Developing birth preparedness and complication readiness plan.
- Preparing the woman for puerperium (which is the period following child birth, where the mother’s reproductive system goes back to its pre-pregnancy state).
- Preparing the woman on how to start the journey of motherhood and adjustment in lifestyle.
Six Best Ways To Prepare For Antenatal Period
Just like any other kind of event, pregnant women must prepare adequately for their antenatal period in order to make the most out of it. Here are six important considerations for every pregnant woman to have a stress-free and successful antenatal period.
Having a change of mindset
Your mindset needs to be focused towards starting the journey of motherhood. Every expectant mother should be ready to adhere to all health matters that the health providers will discuss with them during antenatal visits.
You should always have a positive mindset in order not to be filled with fear throughout your period of pregnancy. During pregnancy make up your mind that your body will not remain as it use to be. You may feel some discomforts as the child grows in the womb, but these are some of the things to temporarily endure as you prepare for motherhood.
Prepare Your Questions
Most pregnant women can become unnecessarily anxious and worried about their pregnancy because of what they’ve seen or heard other pregnant women experienced. You need to always remind yourself that every woman is different. The fact that someone else had certain issues during pregnancy does not mean you will have the same issues in your own pregnancy.
That is why its important you go for your antenatal visit to allay every fear or anxiety you may be having concerning your pregnancy. Prepare all the questions you would like to ask your health provider on a sheet of paper so that you don’t forget them. Be bold to ask any questions at all and ask for clarification in areas you may be confused about.
Prepare your body
Pregnancy needs you to be strong and build more stamina as well. Exercise during pregnancy helps and keeps your baby in good position for birth. But this does not mean you should go and start lifting heavy objects or doing hard jobs whiles pregnant. Rather, do simple activities and exercises like strolling, dancing, washing, cooking and some other home chores.
Some relaxation techniques such as deep breathing exercise keeps you calm and relaxed whenever you are tensed. During your antenatal visits, talk to your doctor about activities and exercises that are most suitable for your current pregnancy.
Think about your birth plan
Immediately you discover that you have become pregnant, it is good to start thinking of how you want your child’s birth to be like. Plan with your partner on where you will want to deliver your child and how you will want to train your child up.
Women who don’t take the time to think and plan for what they want concerning the delivery of their child tend not to have a very exciting journey through the pregnancy period.
As an expectant mother, ensure that you and your partner start preparing materially and financially as soon as you discover you are pregnant. Make sure you buy all that will be needed in the hospital during delivery and after delivery as well. Also ensure your home is loaded with food, and your home should be always kept clean to welcome the new baby.
Sometimes emergencies may arise, especially in the last trimester of pregnancy. During your last trimester, you and your partner needs to be alert and ready for quick action in case of any emergency that may occur at home.
It is not advisable to leave you alone all by yourself at home. There should always be a relative staying at home with you. If that’s not feasible, then you should inform any of your neighbours that at anytime you may need their help.
Anytime you feel very uncomfortable aside from your appointment date, please visit the hospital to see your physician and don’t take self medication.