‘Early antenatal care essential for good health’
WOMEN in the North West are encouraged to book for antenatal care at health facilities as soon as they know they are pregnant.
Antenatal care at an early stage of pregnancy is important for the health of the mother and the developing child.
The health department said it urges all pregnant women to book for antenatal care at their nearest health facility as soon as pregnancy is confirmed, ideally during the first trimester.
“Early antenatal care gives pregnant women the opportunity to treat existing medical conditions that can be aggravated during pregnancy like diabetes, hypertension, anaemia and infections.
“Antenatal care makes it easier for health officials to detect danger signs in pregnancy and post-delivery and preparation for birth and readiness for complications,” the department said.
The department is using this week up to Friday as its pregnancy awareness week.
“The week is used to strengthen education and stresses important issues which promote a healthy pregnancy and safe motherhood.
“The primary purpose is to reduce the number of deaths or complications from pregnancy,” department spokesperson Tebogo Lekgethwane said.
The campaign targets teenagers and young mothers who need more information on issues around pregnancy.
It is being rolled out in all districts and community members and school children are also targeted.
The department believes that once there is proper management of pregnancies from an early age, chances are that maternal mortality will be significantly reduced.
It is one of the department’s goals to significantly reduce the risk of complications at birth to ensure healthy mothers and babies.