Antenatal Care

One of the best ways to ensure your pregnancy is safe and healthy is to receive antenatal care (ANC). This is special care in a health center that makes sure the both mother and baby are healthy and ready for birth when the time comes! Going to ANC at the health center while you are pregnant reduces your risk of have any problems during delivery and makes it more likely that you and baby will do well at birth.

Recommendations for Antenatal Care

Attend at least 8 visits to a health center for ANC
The first ANC visit should be as early as possible in the pregnancy to:

  • Estimate the date of delivery
  • Initiate nutritional supplements and healthy practices
  • Screen for infections and treat them (HIV and syphilis)
  • Develop a birth plan
  • Detect any early danger signs

What to expect at antenatal care visits:

At your ANC visit you will…

  • Receive information on pregnancy, birth planning, labor and delivery, and postnatal care
  • Have your medical history taken and have a physical assessment including:
    • Having your weight checked
    • Having your blood pressure measured
  • Asking about the date of your last period
  • Receive folic acid and iron supplements
  • Receive a tetanus toxoid injection (“tetanus shot”)
  • Receive malaria prevention medication (intermittent preventative treatment for malaria)
  • Determine your HIV status and start treatment if necessary
    • If the test is positive - you will be put on treatment to improve your health and prevent transmission to your baby
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