Why is Antenatal Care so Important?

pregnancy fitness

Being pregnant is one of the most beautiful experiences in the world. You will be welcoming a new life into your family, and your life will change forever. However, for all the excitement that you will no doubt be experiencing, it is crucial that you maintain not only your baby’s health but also your own health both during and after pregnancy.

If this is your first baby, then the importance of antenatal care cannot be understated. Are you aware of what you need to do to ensure that you both remain healthy? Do you know what you should and shouldn’t be doing? These are the things that will be discussed at your ante-natal class. Moreover, you will also be taught how to detect abnormalities and preventable diseases that may affect either or both of you.

A chance to ask questions

Expectant mothers and fathers will naturally have lots of questions. They may feel embarrassed to ask friends or other parents many of these questions as they may feel as though they should already know the answers. When you join an antenatal class, you will be surrounded by other people who are in the same position as yourselves. You will be able to gain support and guidance as well as vital health advice.

Choosing the right provider of antenatal care

In Melbourne, there a several providers of antenatal care, most of whom offer exceptional levels of care. However, prenatal care is complex and choosing a provider with whom you feel comfortable is vital when it comes to reaping the most from the experience both physically and mentally. You should be attending antenatal checks regularly as well as going to weekly classes throughout the duration of your pregnancy.

Below are just some of the things that an expectant mother can expect to benefit by going to antenatal classes.

Screening

Regular screening should form a pivotal role in your antenatal class. It will help to prevent and detect common early complications, including hypertension and pregnancy diabetes. If left untreated, both of these conditions could impact the health of your fetus. If a condition is detected early, you will receive regular monitoring and treatment to stabilize the condition, ensuring the health and wellbeing of both mother and baby.

At the Neighbourhood Clinic, we provide regular screening which will include measuring your heart rate, blood pressure and breathing as well as that of your baby. An obstetrician and midwife will also be available to provide additional help and support, ensuring that you are both in the best possible hands.

Nutrition

Nutrition is a crucial part of a healthy pregnancy, and although the “now eating for two” fallacy is no longer relevant, there are certainly some things that you should avoid. The most notable are:

  • Raw fish

  • Undercooked eggs

  • Unpasteurized or soft cheeses such as brie

All of these items potentially contain enzymes and proteins that can be harmful to a developing fetus. Taking care of what you eat is essential as your immune system will be weakened, leaving you susceptible to bacterial attacks. Your antenatal team will be able to provide you with plenty of advice regarding what you can and can’t eat.

Think about vitamins

If you and your partner are planning to start a family, ensuring that you get all the right vitamins is essential. At this stage, folic acid is essential, but as you enter the prenatal stage, you should also take pregnancy multivitamins. Once again, your body will be working far harder than before you were pregnant so it must get the vital nutrients that help counter neural tube defects, prevent anemia and promote the healthy development of your fetus.

Prenatal classes

Getting the right support during pregnancy is crucial not only for your physical wellbeing but also your emotional state. Prenatal classes will give you practical advice about your pregnancy and help you to understand how your baby is developing. Try to choose an antenatal course that will also cover labor, birth, and early baby care. There will be lots of options available, so take your time to discuss them and decide.

Partners

Some expectant fathers have a better understanding than others about pregnancy. Antenatal classes can also benefit the father, so their attendance at lessons is highly recommended. Men can often shy away from their fears and not explain the concerns that they may have. Often expectant parents are unsure of their roles so a prenatal class will help to make things a lot clearer.

Finally

Pregnancy and childbirth are fun and exciting, however, with it comes great responsibility. Antenatal classes will help you to understand birthing options, how to cope with your newborn as well as discuss breastfeeding, vaccinations and future family planning.


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